Swimming Pool Compliance - Property Manager Review

n Breaking News for Pool Owners - more time to 'get compliant'

Pool owners now have more time to ensure their swimming pools are compliant if they want to sell or enter into a new tenancy agreement for their property. The Division of Local Government has delayed the commencement date of the requirement for pool owners to attach a Certificate of Compliance to sales contracts and rental agreements by one year.

From the new commencement date of 29 April 2015, new residential tenancy agreements cannot be entered into for NSW properties with a swimming pool or spa pool unless they have a valid Certificate of Compliance or relevant occupation certificate.  To sell any property with a swimming pool or spa pool, a copy of the valid Certificate of Compliance or relevant occupation certificate must also be attached to the sale contract.

Regardless of whether you are planning to sell or rent your property, if you own a swimming pool or spa pool, you must register it on the NSW Government's swimming pool register. Registration is free and will help you keep up-to-date with pool safety messages and inspection requirements.

These requirements also apply to common property pools and spas, such as those in strata and community title schemes or residential parks. It is the responsibility of the owner, owners corporation, manager or operator of the common property to ensure that the pool complies with pool safety laws.

The Division of Local Government (DLG) is responsible for the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012. To find out more, visit the swimming pools register, or contact your local council.

Source: NSW Fair Trading

n Swimming Pool Compliance - How it effects you!

Last year we brought to your attention the introduction of the Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012 which will effect all owners of rental properties with swimming pools.

The Act will make it mandatory to have the swimming pool inspected every 3 years by a qualified person to ensure that it complies with the regulations. The property can not be leased unless it has a current compliance certificate. Penalties and offenses apply. As your property manager we will be unable to lease the property unless it is compliant. This will involve you having to incur some costs but it is an unavoidable expense that must be undertaken to comply with the new laws. We must emphasis the purpose of the new legislation is to ensure that all pools are safety compliant to minimise the risk of infant drownings. If the small outlay and inconvenience results in avoiding an infant drowning then it is well worth it, don't you agree.

The on-line Swimming Pools Register commenced operation on 29 April 2013 to enable owners to register their swimming pool. The register requires all property owners with a swimming pool or spa to register and provide certain prescribed information about the pool including (but not limited to) address, type of pool, date of construction/installation as well as date of any inspection and result. All owners are required to register their pool by no later than 29 October 2013. This has now been extended to 19 November 2013. It is an offense not to do so.

In summary:

- Swimming Pool and Spa owners are required to register their pools  and Spas on an online register set up by the NSW State Government

- Swimming Pool owners are required to self assess, and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their swimming pool complies with the applicable standard when registering their pool.

- There is a penalty for owners of $220 who fail to register their pool.

- Swimming Pool owners will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease a property with a pool.

- Accredited certifiers under the Building Professional Act 2005 may conduct swimming pool inspections initiated by the pool owner.

- A compliance certificate must be renewed every 3 years which will require a re-inspection. This will be at the cost of the pool owner. It is expected that the cost will be up to $150 for the first inspection and up to $100 for the re-inspection resulting from the first inspection.

Staged Implementation:

i)   19 November 2013 - by this date all pool owners are required to have registered and self assessed their swimming pool on the online Swimming Pools Register. It is an offense not to do so.

To register click here and complete the online registration and self assessment procedure.

ii)  19 November 2013 - councils inspection program to commence

iii) 29 April 2014 - mandatory inspections by council of pools associated with rental properties to commence.

Action Plan:

For a nominal fee of $55 we can co-ordinate the attainment of the Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate on your behalf. We require your written instructions before proceeding as follows:

1 -  We will arrange for a qualified trades person to inspect the property and perform any minor compliance works deemed necessary. The cost being $66 for the first hour plus materials. If more work is required then your authorisation will be sort before the works are commenced.

2 - Once the compliance works are completed a council officer inspection will be arranged. The cost being between $125 to $150 as determined by the respective council.

3 - If:

(a)  Compliant : The certificate will be emailed to you and a copy will be held for our records, or

(b)  Non Compliant: If the council officer identifies any items that are non-complying then we will arrange for a suitable tradesperson to rectify these items. If they are major items we will seek your authorisation before proceeding. Once done we will arrange for a second inspection by the council officer.

For further information:

NSW Government Web Site - click here

Implementation Guidelines - click here

Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 - click here

Swimming Pools Act 1992 No 49 - click here