DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE DEEP END
Important changes to pool and spa legislation
As a landlord, there are many compliance and safety measures required to rent out your property. High up on that list is pool safety. A paper on Child Deaths: drowning deaths in private swimming pools in NSW states that on average six children drown in private swimming pools per year. A further study on the 40 deaths between 2007 and 2011 showed that 34 out of the 40 deaths were children under five years. The sad thing is that these deaths were 100% preventable.
As a landlord it is your responsibility to ensure your pool or spa is up to safety guidelines and is compliant when entering into a residential tenancy agreement. Come the end of April, it is law.
NEW NSW POOL AND SPA LEGISLATION
As of the 29th April 2016, there are some important new changes to NSW legislation for pool and spa owners and landlords. If you are renting out a property with a pool or spa on the premises, you must now attached a valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate (only relevant if the pool is less than three years old) to any new residential tenancy agreements. In the case of a strata or community scheme, the delegated body corporate is responsible for ensuring the pool and spa compliancy on your behalf.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?
REGISTER YOUR POOL
Firstly, register your pool. To register, head to the NSW Pool Register and click to register your pool. You will then answer some short questions about your pool that will include:
- What type of pool do you have?
- When it was built or installed?
- When, if any, did any changes or alterations to the pool fence or pool access occur?
- Was it built before 1 July 2010?
Depending upon your answers you will be allocated a self-assessment pool checklist to complete and submit. Once approved a relevant certificate of registration will be mailed out to you.
ARRANGE AN INSPECTION AND OBTAIN A COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE
In order to obtain a certificate of compliance, simply contact your local council or private certifier to arrange an inspection. Inspections are relatively low cost with council inspections costing around $150 for an initial inspection. Private certifier costs may vary.
Once obtained, your compliance certificate is valid for three years. Every three years you will be required to arrange another inspection to update your certificate of compliancy to continue to lease your property.
DON’T RISK IT
Pool owners can be hit hard in cases of non-compliancy with penalties up to $5 500 for pool non-compliance and on the spot fines of $550. (Leasing a property with a pool or spa).
Be a responsible pool owner and landlord. Ensure your pool or spa makes the cut. Your tenants’ lives depend on it.
For more information on pool safety and new legislation guidelines, visit the NSW Department of Fair Trading