Any vendor wishing to sell their property with a pool or spa must attach the following to the Contract for Sale:

  1. A certificate of registration; and
  2. From 29 April 2016, a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate.

The same applies to a landlord leasing a property with a pool or spa.  These additional obligations are a result of amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 which were enacted in 2012.  They aim to combat the number of children below 5 years of age accessing pools or spas and drowning.

Vendors wishing to sell their property any time after 29 April 2016 will be prohibited from putting their property on the market without both of the above documents attached to the Contract for Sale.  They must also be attached to any residential tenancy agreement entered into after this date.

Vendors and Landlords can easily log onto the NSW Swimming Pool Register and register their pool or spa and receive a certificate of registration instantly.  This certificate can then be forwarded onto their solicitor to be attached to the Lease or Contract for Sale. That’s the easy part.

The problem is going to be the compliance certificate.  Currently there is concern as to the time it may take to obtain a compliance certificate. The process includes arranging your Local Council to attend and inspect the pool or spa, attending to any changes to make your pool or spa compliant and the subsequent attendance by a Council officer to your property to ultimately determine that it is compliant.

Anecdotally, Councils have not yet allocated adequate staff to carry out these inspections so the backlog of inspections is expected to quickly get out of control.  This whole process can take approximately 6 months and has been one of the reasons the commencement date for the requirement for a compliance certificate has been extended on numerous occasions.

Any failure to attach these documents to the Contract for Sale may also allow a purchaser to rescind the Contract for Sale within 14 days after exchange and prior to settlement.

Therefore, we recommend that anyone wishing to sell, purchase or lease a property be aware of these changes and be well prepared for the delays and consequences which may arise under these new amendments.

For more information contact Anthony Gavan on  a.gavan@pigott.com.au, Brent Wilson on b.wilson@pigott.com.au or Victoria Balis on v.balis@pigott.com.au.

This article is intended to provide general information in summary form on a legal topic, current at the time of publication. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Formal legal advice should be sought in specific circumstances.