Home » Got a pool? Know the rules!

Got a pool? Know the rules!

Posted by Allison Anthony | 07 March 2014 | Construction & Infrastructure

Do you own a property in NSW which has a pool (including a spa pool) located on it or are you a landlord, tenant, vendor or purchaser connected with such a property?

If so, new laws relating to pools and spa pools affect you and it is important that you are familiar with your rights and obligations to ensure that you are not caught out.

Requirement to register

Legislation introduced last year required that all pool owners in NSW register their pool by 29 October 2013 on-line.

This legislation affects a variety of swimming and spa pools which comprise an excavation or structure that can be filled with 300mm (or more) of water that is solely or principally used for swimming, wading and paddling and includes spa pools, but not spa baths.

Swimming pools can be registered (at no cost) on-line at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au and registration is based on a self-assessment checklist about your pool.  If you are having difficulties registering your pool on-line, speak to your local council about the possibility of the council registering the pool on your behalf.

If you fail to register your swimming pool, then authorised officers may fine pool owners.  The fine is $220 (with a fine up to a maximum of $2,200 being imposed if the inspector refers the matter to court).

New laws affecting the sale or lease of properties (with pools) from 29 April 2014

If you wish to sell or lease out your property which has a swimming or spa pool, then:

  • you must have registered your pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register; and
  • on and from 29 April 2014, you will need to attach a swimming pool compliance certificate (or an occupation certificate issued within the last three years) together with a certificate of registration to the sale or lease documentation.

In relation to the sale of property, failure to attach this documentation will entitle the purchaser to rescind the contract within 14 days of exchange, unless completion has occurred in the meantime.

In addition, all tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments (such as hotels, caravan parks and residential unit blocks) must hold current swimming pool compliance certificates (which remain valid for 3 years subject to certain exceptions) for all swimming pools located on those premises.

If you require a compliance certificate, you should either contact your local council or a private certifier (being accredited under the Building Professional Act 2005) to arrange an inspection of the pool and if found compliant, for the issuance of a compliance certificate.

If a swimming pool is inspected, and found non-compliant, the property owner will be required to rectify that non-compliance within a reasonable period.

The consequences for non-compliance (after being given the opportunity to rectify) include the pool owner being liable for a penalty of up to $5,500 (on the spot fines of $550 can also apply).

Further Information

If you are seeking more information about these new requirements:

  • you are welcome to come and speak to us further
  • look up the website at http://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/ or speak to your local council
  • we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation being the Swimming Pools Act 1992, the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012, the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008, Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 and Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010

 

This publication is © Nexus Lawyers Pty Ltd and is for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to any specific issues.

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