You may recall our blog in February of this year alerting you to the upcoming changes to swimming pool laws. On the eve of these strict new requirements, which were to commence later this month on 29 April 2014, the Office of Local Government (“OLG”) has announced those changes have now been postponed for another year.
On 28 March 2014 the OLG issued a Circular to all NSW Councils stating that the provisions in the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (NSW) (the Amending Act) requiring a property with a swimming pool to have a certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate before it can be sold or leased have been delayed and will commence on 29 April 2015.
What does the delay mean for property/pool owners selling or leasing their property?
Now that the final stage of amendments have been postponed another year, swimming pool owners will have more time to ensure swimming compliance prior to the sale or lease of their property.
Why the delay?
The 1 year delay is attributed to a number of reasons including:
- the lack of readiness of Councils, accredited certifiers and swimming pool owners as the compliance date approached;
- high inspection failure rates of swimming pools added to delays in Councils issuing compliance certificates; and
- problems that the legislation created for owners strata schemes where the pool is located on common property.
Timeline – the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (NSW)
The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (NSW) commenced on 29 October 2012 and has already made a number of amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) (the Act).
Those changes have been implemented in stages, with the following already in place:
The Act now applies to a wider class of premises by replacing the reference to “hotel or motel” with “tourist and visitor accommodation”;
- a narrowing on the types of exemptions contained in Sections 8 (swimming pools constructed before August 1990 and existing swimming pools on small properties), 9 (swimming pools on large properties) and 10 (swimming pools on waterfront properties) of the Act;
- the development and implementation of the central Swimming Pools Register which commenced operation on 29 April 2013; and
- new requirements placed on local Councils to develop a mandatory pool inspection regime.
What will the requirements be on 29 April 2015?
This final stage of the amendments (now to be implemented on 29 April 2015) will amend the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 (NSW) and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 (NSW) by to making it compulsory for vendors to attach a certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate plus evidence that the swimming pool is registered to all contracts for sale, including contracts for the sale of a lot in a strata scheme or a community scheme where there is a swimming pool on the common property.