Sell­ing a prop­er­ty with a pool? Dive right into compliance

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 us.