Swimming pool or spas in NSW have been required to be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register from October 2013. The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2017 requires a Contract of Sale to include this Certificate of Registration and one of the following:
- An Occupancy Certificate issued within the last 3 years; or
- A current Certificate of Compliance; or
- A current Certificate of Non-Compliance. If you receive a Certificate of Non-Compliance, a purchaser will have 90 days from the settlement date to rectify any defects and bring the barrier into a compliant state.
If one of the above Certificates is not attached to the Contract when the purchaser signs the Contract, the purchaser will be entitled to rescind the Contract at any time up until settlement. This requirement is built into law and cannot be contracted out of (that is, a clause included in the Contract removing the requirement to include the Certificate or making the Contract conditional upon the vendor providing the Certificate within a certain period of time after Contracts are exchanged).
Certificates of Compliance are valid for three years or until the pool is no longer compliant (whichever is earlier) and a Certificate of Non-Compliance is valid for 12 month. If you considering selling your house which has a swimming pool or spa, you should apply for the Certificate of Compliance as early as possible to avoid any delay in the sale process. This is especially important if your property will be auctioned.
Some properties, such as those within a strata complex, are exempt from complying with these regulations.
There is presently no requirement in Victoria for a Certificate of Compliance to be attached to a Contract of Sale.
However, the Victorian Government has passed legislation for a new swimming pool register and compliance regime effective from 1 December 2019. Homeowners will be required to ensure that the safety barriers around a pool or spa are compliant and inspections are likely to be carried out every three years. You are currently able to voluntarily register your pool or spa on the Victorian Building Authority website prior to registration becoming mandatory later this year.
It will only be a matter of time before Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 is amended to require reflect similar requirements to those of NSW.
Our conveyancing and property law team will be able to guide you through the compliance process to ensure that the required disclosure is made in your Contract of Sale.