In 2012, a comprehensive review of the legislation was finalised and a number of amendments were identified which were designed to enhance the safety of children under the age of five years around private swimming pools in NSW. Owners of swimming pools have the responsibility to ensure that the pool is at all times surrounded by a complying child-resistant pool safety barrier.
As of 29 April 2013, swimming pool owners must register their swimming pools on the NSW online Swimming Pool Register (click here to access the register).
Selling or leasing a property with a swimming pool
From 29 April 2014, all properties with a swimming pool that are either sold or leased must have a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance. This includes any property with a swimming pool that is on the market for sale or lease as at 29 April 2014.
A certificate of compliance certifies that the swimming pool and swimming pool barrier complies with the relevant standards and is valid for a period of three years.
Contracts for the sale of land
From 29 April 2014, a vendor will be required to attach to a contract for the sale of land containing a swimming pool, either:
- a certificate of compliance; or
- an occupation certificate authorising use of the pool not more than three years old and proof of registration of the pool.
The above documents are included in the regulations as prescribed documents to be attached to the contract. Failure to attach one of these documents to any contract entered into after 29 April 2014 for the sale of a property with a swimming pool will result in the purchaser having a right to rescind the contract within 14 days after exchange.
Penalties of non-compliance
The owner of the pool may be liable for a penalty of up to $5,500 for non compliance with the pool safety requirements.
Developers must ensure that the swimming pool is registered on the online register once the pool has been constructed but prior to any settlements taking place. Developers must also ensure that occupation certificates obtained for new developments which contain swimming pools authorise the use of the swimming pool.
Strata and community title property
In the case of strata or community property, the owners corporation or community association must arrange for the swimming pool to be inspected and obtain a certificate of compliance. The owners corporation/community association must also ensure that there is a valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate at all times.