There’s nothing ITC likes better to do than to sit down and read Lane Cove Council Meeting minutes (okay so maybe there is!!!). However, If you’re like ITC and you’re an avid reader of these minutes, you would have noticed a recent resolution setting out the Council’s enforcement policy on pool fencing inspections. The Council resolved:
- If a pool barrier is found to be defective, an emergency order will be served on the owner;
- If after 90 days the pool barrier remains unsatisfactory, a penalty infringement notice will be issued; and
- If necessary, further legal action will be taken to enforce compliance.
Your pool will generally be inspected in the following circumstances:
- when the inspection is compulsory because of the property type (ie multi-occupancy or tourist and visitor accommodation);
- as part of the Lane Cove Council’s adopted inspection program;
- before your property can be sold or leased; or
- at your request.
The Lane Cove Council took the opportunity to publish their enforcement policy as a result of new pool fencing certification requirements. If you own a pool or swim spa, it must be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register – you can be fined if it is not registered. The law has recently been amended so there are now new procedures when you lease, sell or buy a property with a pool/swim spa.
We asked local property conveyancing company, Conveyancing Headquarters, to give us a run down on the new requirements. You will definitely need to read below if you’re looking to lease, buy or sell a home with a pool/swim spa.
After two false starts in 2014 and 2015, the amendment to the Swimming Pool Regulation 1992 came into effect on 29th April 2016.
From a conveyancing point of view, it is one of the most significant changes to contracts and the conveyancing process in the last few years.
Conveyancers and Solicitors will have to take care in ensuring that any sale contract (where the home has a pool as defined below) has the appropriate documentation attached. Failure to attach the correct documentation will allow a purchaser the right to rescind a contract without penalty anytime up to 14 days from the date of exchange (unless settlement has taken place).
What is considered a pool?
The law applies to any excavation, structure or vessel – including swimming pools and spa pools – that are:
- capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 30cm, and
- used, designed, manufactured or adapted for swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity.
Who needs to know about these new laws?
- An owner of a property with a swimming pool or spa pool; and
- Landlords of a property with a swimming pool or spa pool.
In a strata or community scheme, all the lot owners jointly own any swimming pool or spa pool that is on common property. The owners corporation (or body corporate) is responsible for ensuring such pools are compliant with the Swimming Pools Act 1992.
When do these laws apply?
Renting a property with a swimming pool or spa pool
When a residential tenancy agreement is entered into for a property with a swimming pool or spa pool, the landlord or real estate agent must provide the tenant with a copy of the valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate. (Note this requirement does not apply to a lot in a strata scheme or in a community scheme if the strata or community scheme has more than two lots).
Selling a property with a swimming pool or spa pool
If you are selling a property with a swimming pool or spa pool, you must ensure the contract for sale includes:
- a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance;
- a relevant occupation certificate issued within the last 3 years and evidence that the pool is currently registered or
- a valid certificate of non-compliance.
If a certificate of non-compliance is attached to the contract for sale, the vendor is transferring the obligation to obtain a certificate of compliance to the purchaser. The purchaser will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify defects listed in the certificate of noncompliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.
What Do I Need to Do/Know?
- Swimming pool owners must register their swimming pool or spa pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. Follow this link http://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au
- Make sure if you are leasing, buying or selling a house you tell your conveyancer or solicitor that the house has a pool or spa.
- Local councils and accredited certifiers registered with the Building Professionals Board, can carry out inspections of swimming pools.
Where Do I Go For More Information?
Thank you to Ivanna from Conveyancing Headquarters for providing the above information. Conveyancing Headquarters are one of ITC’s fabulous Foundation Sponsors. Without their support, along with our other Sponsors, our website would never have been possible. #itcfoundationsponsor
The information provided above is of a general nature, always seek professional advice on your particular circumstances.
The beautiful pool in our feature photo is one of the pools on offer from Instyle Pool and Spa (owned by a Lane Cove family)
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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