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Reminder to Register Your Swimming Pool!

News & Updates, Property Law

The Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012 came into force on Monday 29 October 2012 to establish the safety standards for backyard swimming pools.

We remind you that you must register your backyard swimming pool by Tuesday 29 October 2013 in compliance with the Act.

The Government has now set up an online swimming pool register at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.  If you register your swimming pool online there is no fee payable, however your local council may charge you up to $10.00 if you ask them to register your swimming pool on your behalf.

As part of the registration process you will be required to undertake a self assessment process.  The pool inspection self assessment checklists are available online at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.

If you fail to register your swimming pool by Tuesday 29 October 2013 you may be fined between $220.00 and $2,200.00.

We attach a summary prepared earlier this year in relation to the change of legislation which we trust will be beneficial to you:

  • The Government is to set up an online swimming pool register and each pool owner must register details including address, type of pool and date of construction etc within 12 months from date of assent ie by 29 October 2013.
  • As part of the registration process, each owner undertakes a “self-certification” process by completing a safety checklist. Owners can request the local council to complete the registration at a cost of $10.
  • Failure to register: $220 – $2,220 penalty.

Swimming pool barrier inspections

  • Councils are to develop appropriate and affordable inspection program.
  • Mandatory inspections for tourist and visitor accommodation or multi-occupancy developments, but no more than once every 3 years.
  • Owners can request local council or private certifier (under Building Professionals Act 2005) to certify compliance for a prescribed maximum fee.
  • Owners must have a valid compliance certificate issued under the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 before a property is leased or sold – valid for 3 years.

o      Exemption:  if there is an occupation certificate less than 3 years old that authorises use of the pool

o      Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 Schedule 1 amended – the certificate is now a prescribed document

o      Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 Schedule 1 amended – Standard Form Agreement now includes a clause saying the landlord has provided a copy of the compliance certificate/occupation certificate to the tenant

o      Phase-in period: 18 months from 29 October 2012

  • Council or private certifier can issue a notice if the pool is non-compliant.
  • Inspection fees: maximum of $150 for first inspection and maximum of $100 for additional inspection.

Other amendments

  • Include a provision to clarify that, where an existing swimming pool that is exempt from the Act’s fencing requirements is fenced voluntarily, such fencing must meet the Act’s requirements for a compliant, four-sided barrier. This would effectively remove the exemption.
  • Clarify and make consistent with the Local Government Act 1993 council powers of entry under the Swimming Pools Act to inspect private swimming pool barriers.
  • Amend the definition of “swimming pool” in section 3 of the Act by replacing the words “300mm or more” with “greater than 300mm” to increase national uniformity.
  • Replace the term “hotel or a motel” with “tourist and visitor accommodation” wherever occurring in the Act to increase consistency with other legislation.

Final Summary

  • Online register will be operational from 29 April 2013.
  • All swimming pools must be registered no later than 29 October 2013.
  • Must have compliance certificate when selling/leasing a property from 29 April 2014.

If you require any further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atkinson Vinden Property team for assistance on (02) 9411 4466.