13 March 2014 Selling a property with a pool? Dive right into compliance

By Wendy Conceicao, Associate and Daniel Kentwell, Paralegal

In Brief

Just because summer has come to an end doesn’t mean it's time to forget about your swimming pool for the year.  As at 29 April 2014 all properties listed for sale or for lease with a swimming pool (including strata properties if there is a pool in the common property) must have a valid swimming pool certificate annexed to the contract.

What is a swimming pool?

For the purposes of the new requirements, a swimming pool is an excavation, structure or vessel that is:

  1. capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 300mm;
  2. solely, or principally used, designed, manufactured or adapted for the purposes of swimming, wading, paddling, or any other human aquatic activity (including a spa pool).

A swimming pool DOES NOT include a spa bath or anything that is situated in a bathroom.

Where do I obtain this certificate?

Certificates can be obtained from the local council or private certifier.  The cost of the certification ranges from council to council but generally can cost up to $150 for the initial visit and $100 for a subsequent visit.  No fees can be charged for any further visits.  Private certifies can fix their own fees.

Can I use an Occupation Certificate to satisfy this obligation?

Yes you can use an Occupation Certificate if the Occupation certificate is less than 3 years old and provided that the swimming pool is authorised on the Occupation Certificate.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The owner of the swimming pool can be fined up to $5,500 for non compliance with pool safety requirements, with an on the spot fine of up to $550.

From 29 April, 2014 if a certificate of compliance is not attached to a contract for sale of land (on which a swimming pool is situated) a purchaser may be able to rescind the contract at any time within 14 days of exchange of contracts.

Moving forward

If you are thinking of listing your property for sale or lease and have any questions with respect to your swimming pool compliance, please contact:

Wendy Conceicao, Special Counsel  |  Phone: +61 2 9233 5544  |  Email:

If you would like to republish this article, it is generally approved, but prior to doing so please contact the Marketing team at

This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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