On 29 April 2016 new swimming pool safety laws came into force to ensure that safety standards are further enhanced in relation to homes with a pool or spa. As it currently stands, drowning is a leading cause of preventable deaths in children under the age of five (5) in Australia.
With the new regulations introduced, all properties for sale with a swimming pool or a spa are subject to providing a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance. In addition, this new regulation also encompasses any properties on the market for lease that have a swimming pool or spa.
In order to comply with the new regulations, a vendor must provide a relevant compliance certificate as part of the contract. This can be one of the following documents, issued in the last three (3) years:
§ A certificate of compliance
§ A relevant occupation certificate (together with evidence that the pool is registered), or
§ A certificate of non-compliance
This new requirement is also combined with the pre-existing regulation of ensuring your pool or spa is registered with the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
If a vendor fails to provide a compliance certificate, the purchaser has the right to rescind the contract within 14 days of exchange, unless settlement has already occurred.
In addition, if a certificate of non-compliance is attached to the contract of sale, the obligation to obtain a certificate of compliance is transferred from the vendor to the purchaser. The purchaser will then have ninety (90) days from the date of settlement to rectify any defects listed in the certificate of non-compliance and to then obtain a certificate of compliance.
Please note however, that this new additional requirement does not apply to homes sold off-the plan or properties in a strata or community scheme development with more than two private residences.
It is possible to search the NSW Government’s Swimming Pool Register to check whether a pool/spa has been registered and whether a certificate of compliance has been issued. If you require any further information such as fact sheets in other languages and water safety requirements you can locate this information via the Royal Life Saving NSW website or by contacting Central Coast Council.