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  • New sale and leasing swimming pool requirements commence on 29 April 2015.
  • Contracts for sale of land or tenancy agreements must include a certificate of compliance or occupation certificate.
  • The new requirements also apply to lot owners in strata and community schemes.
  • High compliance failure rates indicate it can take up to 3-4 months to obtain a certificate of compliance following first inspection.
  • Beware of certificates of compliance issued subject to exemptions and subsequent cancellations.

In 2012, a number of changes were made to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) (the Act). Chief among them was the establishment of the NSW online register of pools, new periodic council inspections of home pools, and new mandatory council inspections of tourist and visitor accommodation and multiple occupancy premises (e.g. strata) every three years.

From 29 April 2015, swimming pool owners seeking to sell or lease their premises will require a valid certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate accompanied by evidence that the pool is registered on the online register (usually in the form of a registration certificate).

The new sale and leasing requirements were initially scheduled to commence in April 2014 but were delayed until 29 April 2015 in response to council feedback, indicating high inspection failure rates.

According to the circular to councils issued by the NSW Office of Local Government [14-07 / 28 March 2014 / 370347], it is not uncommon for it to take up to three or four months for the issue of a certificate of compliance following the first inspection. The circular identified a combination of factors affecting the anticipated time frame for obtaining a certificate of compliance, including:

  • High failure rates: Anecdotal evidence suggested that around 95 per cent of pools fail at their first inspection.
  • Availability of qualified inspectors to meet demand: Currently, only council officers and private certifiers registered with the Building Professionals Board (BPB) (category A1, A2, & A3) can issue a valid certificate of compliance.
  • Availability of contractors: There is a lack of qualified tradespersons and materials available to conduct the rectification works needed to address any compliance defects.

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