On the 29th April 2016, new laws will commence that change the
requirements of selling or leasing a property with a pool or
outdoor spa. Vendors should be aware of what is required of them to
sell their property, and buyers should understand their rights if a
contract does not comply with these new laws.
The laws apply to swimming pools and outdoor spas which include
in-ground, above-ground, portable and other types of pools capable
of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more of water. They do not
apply to bathroom spas used as baths and emptied after use.
As of 29 April 2016 all properties being sold or leased with a
pool or outdoor spa must have either of the following attached to
a valid occupation certificate
a compliance certificate
The property cannot be marketed or under contract without the
prescribed document. After exchange, a purchaser has 14 days to
rescind the contract if a prescribed document is not attached.
For an occupation certificate to be valid it must be less than
three years old and specifically authorise the use of the swimming
pool or outdoor spa. If an occupation certificate is attached as
opposed to a compliance certificate, the swimming pool registration
certificate must also be attached.
You can check if a swimming pool already has a compliance
certificate by searching the property address in the
NSW Swimming Pool Register. A compliance certificate is only
valid for three years from the date of issue.
If you do not have a relevant certificate, you can obtain a
compliance certificate from your local council or an accredited
private certifier. This involves having the pool or outdoor spa
inspected to see if it meets all the safety requirements. If the
pool fails the initial inspection, you will be advised of the items
of non-compliance. You will then need to rectify these items and
have a subsequent inspection before a compliance certificate will
It is the owner's responsibility to obtain the compliance
certificate and ensure the pool is registered. If the property is
strata it is the owner's corporation's responsibility, so
you can contact them for copies of the certificates.
To sum up, property owners must ensure their swimming pool or
outdoor spa has a valid compliance certificate in order to sell or
lease their property as of the 29th April 2016. Purchaser's
should be aware of the vendor's obligations and know that they
have a right to rescind the contract for 14 days after exchange if
all prescribed documents are not attached.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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