Will Your Pool Be Ready for Summer?
Before you can sell a home in NSW, you are obliged, by law, to make a number of disclosures to buyers about the land, which includes information relating to the title, easements and zoning, but not about the building or structure itself, which is the buyer’s responsibility. The only exception to that disclosure rule in NSW is in relation to swimming pools and spas, which now require vendors to supply a certificate of compliance to buyers.
Under the new rules, which came into effect on 30 April this year, home owners will need to ensure that any swimming pool or spa on their property complies with the Swimming Pools Act, is registered with their local council, and has been issued with a certificate of compliance by a licensed pool safety inspector. If a swimming pool isn’t compliant, it may be issued with a non-compliance certificate.
Home Owners Have 90 Days to Bring Pools Up to Code
Home owners with swimming pools and spas that are non-compliant will have 90 days to bring them up to safety standards or, if the property is sold before then, it will become the buyer’s responsibility to bring them up to code. Even if the property was put on the market before the legislation came into effect, but the sale occurs after 30 April, the vendor will still need to need to provide buyers with either a certificate of compliance or one of non-compliance.
If no information about a swimming pool is disclosed, and a buyer finds that a swimming pool or spa on a property doesn’t comply with the Act, they’re entitled to cancel the sale and rescind the contract, just as they would be able to do if they found that the land was affected by a council development not previously disclosed by the owner.
Don’t Let a Non-Compliant Pool or Spa Be a Deal Breaker
The changes to the Swimming Pools Act, which affects any pool or spa capable of being filled with more than 300mm of water, whether they’re above ground, in-ground, inflatable, portable or otherwise, were introduced to improve pool safety in Australia. Research shows that in the last 13 years, 83 children under 5 years of age have drowned in backyard pools in NSW; a further 80 children suffered serious neurological damage as a result of being immersed in a pool.
Most people looking to buy a home with a pool or spa are usually families with young kids, so making certain that the home they have bought will be safe for their kids is a major priority. Rather than being reactive about the changes to the Swimming Pools Act, be proactive. When you’re preparing your home for sale, take the time to make sure your swimming pool or spa is up to safety standards and save yourself the stress, if later on down the track, a buyer discovers for themselves that things aren’t quite up to scratch.
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