By Emma Heuston
Selling or Leasing a Property in NSW? Don’t Be Left High and Dry By Recent Changes!
The Swimming Pools Amendment Act (NSW) 2012 (“the Act”) was recently introduced in New South Wales.
As a result, important changes to the law surrounding swimming pools and spa pools are being phased in. Property owners, tenants, owners corporations and real estate agents should be aware of these changes and the obligations they create.
Recent Changes – October 2013
On 29 October 2013 it became a compulsory requirement under the Act that property owners register their swimming pools either online at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au or with their local Council to comply with the Act and avoid a fine. However if the local council inspect the pool and it is non compliant, despite being registered, the property owner could still face a fine.
As an option to ensure compliance, property owners may apply for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate (which is valid for three years) from their local council or an accredited certifier so they are in a position to confidently register their pool.
Upcoming Changes – April 2014
Further amendments to both the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 will come into force on 29 April 2014.
These changes impact upon property owners selling or leasing a property and tenants residing in a property. It is also imperative that real estate agents are aware of these requirements in order to advise prospective sellers and landlords of their obligations.
Selling a property
From 29 April 2014, if a property owner lists a property for sale which contains a pool, then either of the following must be attached to the Contract for Sale:
- valid certificate of compliance under the Act; or
- relevant occupation certificate* and evidence that the swimming pool is registered under the Act
If this requirement is not met, then the purchaser may rescind the contract within 14 days after exchange of contracts.
Leasing a property
From 29 April 2014, if a property owner offers a property containing a pool for lease under the Residential Tenancies Act, the owner must ensure that at the time the Lease is entered into with the tenant, that the pool is registered under the Act and has a valid certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate*. A copy of the certificate of compliance must be provided to the tenant with the Lease.
Pools on strata property
An Owners Corporation is also required to register any pool on the common property and it is advisable that they apply for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate. This also applies to properties in community and neighbourhood schemes.
* A relevant occupation certificate is an occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is less than 3 years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool.