Does your home have a swimming pool?

There are now new laws for buying, selling or leasing a property with a swimming pool in NSW.

These changes were introduced on 29 April 2016 to further protect the safety of children under the age of five around backyard swimming pools.

Properties sold with a pool must have either:

  • A certificate of compliance; or
  • A relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration; or
  • A certificate of non-compliance.

When you buy a property with a non-compliant pool, you will have 90 days from settlement to fix any areas of non-compliance.

Properties leased with a pool must have either:

  • A certificate of compliance; or
  • A relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration.

However, these new sale laws do not apply to properties with more than two lots and a shared pool, such as units in strata complexes or community schemes.

The relevant legislation are:

  • The Swimming Pools Act 1992
  • The Swimming Pools Regulation 2008
  • The Conveyancing Act 1919
  • The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010
  • The Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 (schedule 1 – Standard Form Agreement)
  • The Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002

The amending regulations are:

  • The Swimming Pools Amendment (Inspections) Regulation 2016
  • The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Amendment (Swimming Pools) Regulation 2016
  • The Residential Tenancies Amendment (Swimming Pools) Regulation 2016.

Sale of land

Commencing on 29 April 2016 contracts for sale of properties with a pool must attach one of the following prescribed documents according to the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 as amended:

  • a valid certificate of compliance issued by either the council or an accredited certifier under the Act; or
  • a relevant occupation certificate and evidence that the swimming pool is registered under the Act; or
  • a certificate of non-compliance.

Failure to attach one of these prescribed documents to a contract entered into on and from 29 April 2016 will result in the purchaser having a right to rescind the contract within 14 days after exchange. If this happens a vendor sustaining a loss may have a negligence claim against the law practice for failure to include the prescribed document in the contract.

Lease of land

If a property owner leases a residential premises and the property contains a pool or spa on or from 29 April 2016 and at the time of entering the residential tenancy agreement the property owner must ensure that:

  • the pool is registered;
  • the pool has a valid certificate of compliance; and
  • a copy of the certificate of compliance is provided to the tenant

Information current as at August 2016