Non-Compliant Pool Could Drown Home Sale Or Lease
A deadline passed on April 29 to make your home swimming pool or spa compliant under new regulations before the property can be sold or leased, but it is not too late to do something about it.
Under changes in the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 all pools and spas must comply with certain safety standards including being surrounded by a child-resistant barrier.
Merrill Phillips, conveyancing expert at Stacks Law Firm, said the new law requires that a valid certificate of compliance or non-compliance be attached to the sale or rental contract of any property with a swimming pool or spa.
“The deadline has already been extended twice – for a year in 2014 and again in April 2015 for 12 months,” Ms Phillips said.
“But many home owners have still not taken the necessary steps to make their pool compliant with the law. If the pool is non-compliant the vendor or landlord may have the contract rescinded. If the sale goes ahead the new owner will have 90 days to bring the pool up to the proper safety standards.”
According to some reports, 75 per cent of the estimated 300,000 backyard pools in NSW fail to comply with the new safety standards.
The compliance laws were brought in after it was revealed 83 children had drowned in backyard pools and spas over the past 13 years. Country pools had most drownings on a per head of population basis with Broken Hill, Griffith, Mid-west NSW, Wollondilly, Port Macquarie, Penrith, Camden, Campbelltown, Wyong, and Lake Macquarie topping the list.
“All pool owners should be asking themselves the simple question: ‘Is my swimming pool kid-safe?’” Ms Phillips said.
“As an owner of a swimming pool you are responsible for the safety of everyone who uses your pool. Check whether a young child could climb over, under or through the fence to get to your pool. Can they fall into the pool through a window?
“Do all the gates in your pool safety barrier close and latch properly so they can’t be opened by a small child?
“Is the pump mechanism safe? All filtration systems must have two suction points at least 800 mm apart to reduce serious injury.
“Are there any objects that could be used for climbing over the pool fence? Property owners must fix these problems before they arrange for a Council Inspection for a compliance certificate.
“Even if you are not planning to sell or lease a property, this does not take the legal obligation off you, as the owner, to ensure your swimming pool complies with the current regulations.”