- New sale and leasing requirements commenced 29 April 2016. Contracts for sale of land with pools must include a certificate of compliance, occupation certificate (with registration certificate) or a certificate of non-compliance.
- Vendors can now shift the responsibility of obtaining the certificate of compliance to the purchaser.
- Purchasers who complete a sale contract with a certificate of non-compliance attached will have 90 days to carry out the rectification works.
- A new exemption applies to strata and community title schemes with more than two lots and ‘off the plan’ contracts.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) (‘the Act’) has undergone a series of changes since 2012 culminating most recently in the new sale and leasing requirements that commenced on 29 April 2016.
Background and key changes
Some of the key changes since 2012 have included an obligation upon each owner to register their pool on a newly established online government register of swimming and spa pools, the introduction of mandatory and periodic inspections by local authorities (eg councils), and new sale and leasing requirements affecting pool owners. The sale and leasing requirements were deferred on two occassions but will now commence on 29 April 2016. Previously under the regulations, pool owners seeking to sell or lease their premises, were required to obtain a valid certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate accompanied with a registration certificate evidencing that the pool had been registered on the online register.
During the deferral period, the Building Professional Board established a new category of private certifiers now known as ‘E1 Certifiers’ to complement council inspections and increase the number of private inspectors who can issue certificates of compliance under the Act. For a list of private certifiers who are authorised to issues certificates see: www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au/
In September 2015 the NSW Government commissioned a review of pool barrier requirements in advance of the commencing date. After submissions from key stakeholders (including the Law Society of NSW), the Minister of Local Government announced that the proposed sale and leasing requirements would proceed as scheduled on 29 April 2016 subject to some key changes as follows:
- all properties with a swimming pool being sold or leased on or after 29 April 2016 will require a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate (with a registration certificate);
- in the case of sales, where a certificate of compliance cannot be obtained, vendors will now be able to shift the responsibility of obtaining the certificate of compliance to the purchaser by attaching a certificate of non-compliance to the sale contract;
- purchasers who complete a sale with a certificate of non-compliance attached to the contract will have 90 days from settlement to rectify the non-compliance issues;
- a new exemption to the sale and leasing requirements will apply to strata and community title schemes comprised of more than two lots; and
- a new exemption to the sale requirements will apply to off the plan contracts.
Various amendments have since been made to the various Swimming Pools, Conveyancing (Contract for Sale of Land) and Residential Tenancies regulations to give effect to the changes.