Pool Safety Compliance

ISSUE 131 - MAY 2016


Pool Safety Compliance & Certification


Pool safety compliance

Changes to swimming pool legislation, which came into effect on 29 april 2016, mean you must now have a pool compliance certificate before you can rent or sell a property with a pool.  In 2012, the swimming pools act 1992 was amended with the aim of reducing the number of deaths by drowning in home pools, particularly amongst young children.

The two-phase compliance process involves initial registration of pools, followed by inspection and certification by the local council or a private certifier.  From 29 april, any property with a swimming pool or spa pool that is being offered for rent or sale must have a pool compliance certificate.

Do you need pool fencing?

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children under 5 years of age.  Even if you don’t have children of your own, it’s likely that family or friends will visit with young children, and an unfenced pool or spa poses a considerable risk for their safety.  The swimming pool safety legislation applies to all types of pool that can be filled to a depth of more than 300 millimetres of water.  This means that spa pools (indoor and outdoor) and large inflatable or portable pools also require a child proof barrier.

Is your pool compliant?

The first step towards compliance is to register your pool on the nsw swimming pool register at https://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/.  
Next, get an indication of whether your current pool barrier and access is compliant with australian safety standard 1926 for height, gaps between bars, safety gates, etc by completing a self-assessment check list at: https://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/checklists. These checklists are designed to highlight problems with your current pool safety, and indicate issues that might need to be fixed before your compliance and certification inspection. The checklists are specific to the age of the swimming pool, whether the pool is indoor or outdoor, spa pool or portable pool, and the size and location (e.g. Waterfront) of the block.  

The final step is to have your pool inspected by your local council or a private pool certifier, who may identify additional remedial issues.  A list of private certifiers is available at: https://www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/inspection.

What if you’re about to sell your home?

From 29 april, all properties sold with a pool must have either a “relevant occupation certificate” (issued under the environmental planning and assessment act 1979), a “certificate of compliance” or a “certificate of non-compliance” issued by the nsw swimming pool register.  If your pool is not compliant with the swimming pools act, you can attach a “certificate of non-compliance” to the contract for sale and the buyer of the property then has 90 days from the date of settlement to remedy any non-compliance issues.

Can you rent your property with a certificate of non-compliance?

All properties with two or fewer dwellings and a pool must have a certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration before entering into a lease.  These documents must be provided to the tenant on signing a new lease.   A certificate of non-compliance is not applicable for properties that are being leased, because it is a legal obligation for a landlord to provide a safe environment for their tenants – and a non-compliant pool is not a safe environment.  

Does your apartment or townhouse complex require pool certification?

Under the swimming pools act, properties with more than two dwellings are exempt from the new requirements to provide a compliant pool barrier on sale or lease,  because they are already regulated through mandatory three-yearly inspections. So all apartment and townhouse complexes should already have current pool safety certification.

Not planning to rent or sell your property?  

Then you don’t need a certificate of compliance at the moment, but you do have to register your pool, and may like to undertake the checklist to ensure your pool is safe for your children and those of your family and friends.





Megan MacKay
Megan’s career in sales, marketing and business development covered a diverse range of industries before she made the move into real estate in 2012.