Due to changes in the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW), from 29 October 2013, swimming pools and spas will be required to be registered via an online register of pools. This applies to all pools, not just new ones. The Act also sets out that from 29 April 2016, all contracts for sale for property that has a swimming pool or spa pool must have a Compliance Certificate attached to that contract.
There is no fee to register a pool online. The local council can also do this on behalf of an owner, and charge a nominal fee to register a swimming pool.
A pool registration is based on the address of a property and not on the ownership details. No amendment of a Registration Certificate is required should someone purchase or sell a property.
If council becomes aware that a swimming pool has not been registered, the owners of the property may be fined $220. If an inspector refers a matter to the court, the costs could increase to $2,200.
Once a swimming pool is registered, you can obtain a Compliance Certificate with respect to the swimming pool. Either Local Council or an accredited certifier under the Building Professional Act 2005 (NSW) can issue Compliance Certificates.
A Compliance Certificate is necessary as from 29 April 2016 an owner of a property with a swimming pool or spa will need to obtain a Compliance Certificate in the event that want to sell their property. Failure to attach a Compliance Certificate to the contract for sale can allow a prospective purchaser to rescind the contract within 14 days from the date of exchange. This also means that the deposit must be refunded to the purchaser.
For swimming pools or spas which is part of Strata or Community Properties, the Strata Manager or Community Manager must register and hold the Compliance Certificate on behalf of the Strata or Community property.
A Compliance Certificate, while valid for a period of 3 years from the date it was issued, ceases to be valid if local council issues a direction to an owner to carry out works to ensure that the swimming pool complies with the Swimming Pool Act.
How Adams & Partners can help
If you have a Swimming Pool on your property or as part of the common area of your apartment block, you need to be aware of all these things if you are planning to sell your property. Our experienced conveyancers will go through these matters with you and ensure that you have everything in place to successfully sell your property.
This article is a summary of a presentation given at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar presented by Erin Neal of Adams & Partners Lawyers on 27 February 2015.