16-05 – Changes for properties sold or leased with swimming pools

What’s changing

The Government is proposing to amend the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 and Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 to:

  1. Allow the vendor of a property (with a swimming pool) to transfer the requirement to have a compliant pool barrier to the purchaser. The transfer will be realised through the attachment of a ‘certificate of non-compliance’ to the contract for sale.
  2. Give the purchaser 90 days from the date of ownership transfer to address any issues of non-compliance in relation to the swimming pool barrier or be subject to current penalties.
  3. Exempt properties with more than two (2) dwellings from the requirement to provide a compliant pool barrier on sale and lease as they are already regulated by mandatory three (3) year inspection programs.

Key points

  • All properties with a swimming pool or spa pool being sold or leased on or after 29 April 2016 will need a valid certificate of compliance, certificate of non-compliance or a relevant occupation certificate.
  • A ‘certificate of non-compliance’ will enable the seller to transfer the responsibility to obtain a certificate of compliance to the buyer.
  • This transfer will be realised through the attachment of a certificate of non-compliance to the contract for sale.
  • The buyer will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify defects listed in the certificate of non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.
  • Councils are encouraged to liaise with solicitors, real estate agents, conveyancers and their community regarding the new requirements.
  • Councils should already have completed most mandatory inspections within their swimming pool inspection programs, including for pools on properties with more than 2 dwellings.
  • The NSW Government continues to work with Royal Life NSW to protect child safety around pools through the public “Be Pool Safe” campaign, which includes promotional resources for councils.
  • Detailed guidance and support material will be distributed shortly.

What this will mean for your council

  • Councils will need adequate resources in place to meet the expected increase in requests for swimming pool barrier compliance inspections.
  • Councils will be required to include in their annual report the number of inspections performed and the resultant number of certificates of compliance and certificates of non-compliance issued.
  • Councils will be able to issue a non-compliance penalty infringement notice if a purchaser has not obtained a certificate of compliance within 90 days.

Where to go for further information

Tim Hurst

Acting Chief Executive