Changes Swimming Pool Safety Rules (NSW)
With over 300,000 backyard swimming pools and spas in NSW, pool safety is imperative. That is why the NSW Government has introduced new laws for swimming pools, with effect from 2016.
A swimming pool is defined as a structure that is capable of being filled with 300 mm of water or more and is used for swimming and other water activities. All properties with swimming pools or spa pools that are to be sold from 29 April 2015 must have a valid compliance certificate attached to the contract. Or, if the swimming pool is less than three years old then a valid Occupation Certificate (issued under the EPA Act 1979) that authorises the use of the swimming pool is to be attached to the contract.
Anecdotal evidence shows that more than 90% of swimming pools are found to be non-compliant on first inspection and it can take in excess of 90 days to fix barrier fences.
Contract requirements if selling a property containing a swimming pool
Pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 a vendor will be required to attach to a contract for sale of land containing a swimming pool, either:
- A certificate of compliance and a valid Certificate of Registration; or
- An occupation certificate issued within the last three years accompanied by a valid Certificate of Registration.
As these certificates are prescribed documents required to be attached to your contract for the sale of land, failure to comply with the requirements entitles the purchaser to rescind the contract at any time within 14 days of exchange.
Common property within a strata scheme
If you are selling property (e.g. unit, townhouse) where there is a swimming pool or spa pool on common property in a strata scheme, the body corporate should arrange for the pool to be inspected to obtain the certificate of compliance.
Once a certificate of compliance has been issued, individual lot owners may access the Swimming Pool Register to obtain a copy of the certificate if they intend to sell their individual lot. This means that individual lot owners are not required to have the pool separately assessed nor separately obtain a certificate of compliance.
Certificate of registration
To register your pool on the NSW swimming pool register go to www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/
Conveyancing (sale of land) regulation 2010 – schedule 1
Schedule 1 – Prescribed documents
If the contract relates to land on which there is a swimming pool within the meaning of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 to which that Act applies, a copy of either of the following in respect of the swimming pool:
(a) Certificate of compliance issued under that Act,
(b) Relevant occupation certificate within the meaning of that Act and evidence that the swimming pool is registered under Part 3A of that Act.
Note: A relevant occupation certificate is an occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is less than 3 years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool.
To read Schedule of prescribed documents in full go to www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/colr2010311/sch1.html