The Swimming Pools Act – an update on amendments

As of 29 April 2016, amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) are of full effect.

Owners of properties with swimming pools must, in accordance with section 30B of the Act, register their swimming pool on the Register of Swimming Pools. A failure to do so exposes a pool owner to maximum fine of $220.

The Register is administered by the State Government and may be accessed online at Registration is a simple, four step process involving the self-assessment of a swimming pool in accordance with certain checklists.

In addition to registration, owners of swimming pools must also obtain a certificate of compliance in certain circumstances. Certification under the Act is mandatory:

  • once every three years for properties with moveable dwellings, tourist or visitor accommodation, in accordance with an inspection program implemented by a local authority;
  • when a property is to be sold; or
  • when a property is to be leased pursuant to a residential tenancy agreement.

Where a swimming pool is both registered and found to be compliant with the standards prescribed by the Act, a certificate of compliance will be issued under section 22D of the Act. If a swimming pool is not registered or is found to not be compliant, a certificate of non-compliance will be issued under section 18BA of the Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 (NSW).

Consequential effects on property transactions

The changes to the Act has a flow on effect to a number of property transactions.

As of 29 April 2016, vendors of property where a swimming pool is included must attach a valid certificate of compliance or non-compliance issued under the swimming legislation, or a valid occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).

This is because these certificates are now a prescribed document for annexure to a contract for sale pursuant to section 52A of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW).

A failure to attach these certificates to a contract for sale grants a purchaser a right of rescission under section 16(1)(a) of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 (NSW).

The requirement to attach the above certificates does not apply if the property being sold is a lot within a strata or community scheme.

Residential tenancies are also affected by the changes to the swimming pools legislation. The standard form residential tenancy agreement now contains an express provision requiring the landlord to ensure that (prior to entering into a residential tenancy agreement):

  • the requirements of the Act have been complied with;
  • the pool is both registered and has been issued a valid certificate of compliance; and
  • a copy of the certificate of compliance to the tenant.
  • Should you require further information on how these amendments may affect you, please contact our office.