With over 300,000 backyard swimming pools in New South Wales, swimming pool safety is a vital issue that affects the whole community. Supervising young children in and around swimming pools and developing water confidence through water familiarisation programs can save lives. Effective pool barriers also help keep young children safe.
New laws about swimming pool safety come into force from 29 April 2015. What do you need to do? From 29 April 2015, all properties with a swimming pool or spa pool that are sold must have a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance. This includes any property with a swimming pool or spa pool that is on the market for lease at 29 April 2015. What type of pool is included? ‘Swimming pools and spa pools’ includes in ground, above-ground, indoor, portable and other types of pools and spa pools that are capable of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more of water. Bathroom spas that are used as baths and emptied after use are not included.
A swimming pool certificate of compliance certifies that the pool and pool barrier meet the safety requirements.
Selling a property
A valid swimming pool certificate of compliance must be attached to the contract for sale of properties with a swimming pool or spa pool from 29 April 2015. Therefore, from 29 April 2015, when a property with a swimming pool is being sold, a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance (or an occupation certificate issued within the last three years) and a valid Certificate of Registration must be attached to the Contract for the Sale of Land. Failure to attach the certificate means that the purchaser may be entitled to rescind the Contract at any time within 14 days of exchange, unless settlement has already occurred.
Leasing a property
In the case of a property for lease with a pool, the pool must be registered and it must have a valid certificate of compliance (or occupation certificate issued within the last three years) at the time the Residential Tenancy Agreement is entered into and copy of that certificate must be given to the tenant. Property managers should ensure the pool has a valid compliance certificate or occupation certificate and is registered before a new lease is entered into.
Your local Council or an accredited certifier under the Building Professional Act can conduct an inspection
Go to www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au and search by property address.
How long will the certificate remain valid?
A total of 3 years from the issue date.
If the pool is on common land (strata or community title) does every unit owner need a certification?
No. With strata the body corporate should arrange for the certification.
How much does it cost?
Local Councils may charge up to $150 for the initial safety inspection, if a second inspection is require up to $100 maybe charged (no further charges can be made by local Councils). Accredited certifiers set their own fees.