Due to the Australian climate, a large number of properties enjoy an attached pool. You may be considering the purchase of a new home and fancy the idea of an early morning dip. Yet did you know that there are certain legal requirements associated with a pool these days? What do you need to know to make sure that you do not fall foul of any regulations when buying a property?
Most states require that you have to register the existence of a swimming pool, and as part of this registration process you are also required to adopt certain compliance procedures. The type of fencing placed around the pool is regulated, as are other safety measures.
Recently, the law has also changed to mandate that a certificate of compliance needs to be transferred to a new owner when the property changes hands.
In almost every case a certificate has to be present during the conveyancing process. It needs to be attached to the contract for sale and must detail the state of compliance. Generally speaking, this is either to confirm valid compliance or to indicate that the pool is non-compliant. In the latter case, this places the onus on the new owner to take action.
It's important to remember that this certificate of compliance relates to all types of pools and those that are in the process of construction. So long as the intention is that the 'structure' can be filled with water to a certain depth, either now or when complete, a compliance certificate is required.
New buyers should note that if such a certificate is not presented or attached to the contract for sale, then these are grounds for rescinding any action within two weeks of the contract date.
To be valid, the certificate of compliance has to be issued fairly recently, although it can be provided by a licensed private certifier instead of the local council.
Whenever the certificate details non-compliance, the new owner has to take the necessary action and get a compliance certificate within three months of buying the house or face the possibility of a fine if they don't do so.
There may be additional considerations in your case and you may also need an occupation certificate. Due to these potential complications it is advisable to seek the help of a local conveyancer to ensure that all legal requirements are met.