If you are thinking about buying, selling or leasing a property in Queensland which has a swimming pool or spa, then you should be mindful of the rules relating to the need for swimming pool safety certificates.
For the very worthwhile purpose of saving lives, a pool safety register has been established, which can be freely searched online and contains details of properties which have pools and whether there is a current pool safety certificate for such pools.
Only registered inspectors can issue these certificates and it can be a very expensive exercise to install or rectify a pool fence to obtain one.
Since 30 November 2015 it has been compulsory for all pool owners to comply with the pool safety laws and whilst you don’t have to have a certificate to prove that you comply, you must have a certificate before you can lease a property and if there is no certificate for a property when it is sold, then one must be obtained within 90 days of settlement.
The seller of a property with a pool must either provide the buyer with a current pool safety certificate, or if there is no certificate, a seller can provide to the buyer a form called a “Notice of No Pool Safety Certificate”. Such a notice includes advice to the buyer that it has 90 days from the settlement date to obtain a safety certificate, unless the pool is on the common property of a body corporate, in which case it is the body corporate that has 90 days to get the certificate.
Sellers must provide a copy of the no pool safety certificate to the relevant government department and the local councils, who enforce the pool safety laws, able to follow up the buyer if no safety certificate is issued within the 90 days.
Most standard contracts for the sale of residential land include provisions about pool safety certificates and it is very important that buyers and sellers understand their obligations under those provisions. In some circumstances failure to satisfy those provisions can result in the termination of the contract.
You should therefore discuss the pool safety provisions with your legal advisor before you sign a contract.