Selling A House? Register That Pool First
Another deadline is looming for registering household pools. From 29 April 2014 anybody selling a house that has a pool must have the pool registered with the government register or the sale could be rescinded.
Last year the government brought in a registration system for backyard pools to make sure they comply with safety standards. All pool owners have to register their pools on an online register provided by the NSW government. The deadline had to be extended after the website became overloaded, but by now anyone with a pool should have it registered or risk a fine of $220.
The compulsory registration includes backyard and indoor pools, spas, portable pools and inflatable pools with a depth of more than 30 centimetres.
Registration is free. You have to give the address, type and age of the pool. Owners have to fill out a checklist of safety measures such as fences, latches, gates, windows and locks. You can do this yourself, but councils can do a proper inspection for a maximum fee of $150. It is probably worth getting a council inspection to make sure you have complied with safety regulations. Pool owners have a legal liability to ensure pool users are safe at all times.
This isn’t bureaucracy gone mad. There are 300,000 backyard pools in NSW. Six kids a year on average drown in backyard pools, many because of inadequate safety fences and gates. It takes a little kid just seconds to slip and drown, so whatever can be done to minimise the risk is well worth it.
The government has amended the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 so that contracts for sale of land that contain a pool must have either a valid certificate of compliance issued by the council (or accredited certifier), or provide evidence that the pool is registered under the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012.
Failure to attach one of these documents to a contract of sale after 29 April means the purchaser has the right to rescind the contract within 14 days after the exchange. If you are leasing a property with a pool, the owner must ensure the pool is registered and has a valid certificate of compliance. A copy of the compliance certificate must be provided to the tenant.
Councils are required to inspect all pools on behalf of the State government before issuing a compliance certificate. They are valid for three years. All tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments must be inspected by councils and have a compliance certificate.
More information is available through the website www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.