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Postponement of changes to the swimming pool disclosure requirements

02 April 2014

#Property & Real Estate

Cameron Sheather

Published by Cameron Sheather

Postponement of changes to the swimming pool disclosure requirements

On 28 March 2014 the Office of Local Government issued a Circular to Councils announcing that the provisions in the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (NSW) (Amending Act) requiring a property with a swimming pool to have a certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate before it can be sold or leased is to now commence on 29 April 2015. This new commencement date is twelve months after the previously anticipated date, being 29 April 2014.

What does this mean?

With the final stage of amendments being postponed twelve months, swimming pool owners will now have more time to ensure swimming pool barrier compliance prior to the sale or lease of their property.

Further, Councils will now have more time to address the Amending Act changes to ensure that pool owners understand the requirements. Council will now have time to make certain that it has appropriate systems, processes and resources in place to respond to these changes and the demands that will arise from them. 

Background to the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 (NSW)

The Amending Act commenced on 29 October 2012 and has made a number of amendments to the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) (Swimming Pools Act). The Amending Act has been implemented in stages and has already achieved the following: 

  • the extension of the operation of the Swimming Pools Act to a wider class of premises consisting of swimming pools or proposed swimming pools by replacing the reference to “hotel or motel” with “tourist and visitor accommodation”;
  • a limiting of the scope of exemptions contained in Sections 8 (swimming pools constructed before August 1990 and existing swimming pools on small properties), 9 (swimming pools on large properties) and 10 (swimming pools on waterfront properties) of the Swimming Pools Act;
  • the development and implementation of the central Swimming Pools Register which commenced operation on 29 April 2013; and
  • new requirements placed on Councils to develop a mandatory pool inspection regime.

What will this final stage of amendments do?

This final stage of the amendments are intended to amend the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 (NSW) and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 (NSW) to require vendors to attach to contracts for sale a valid certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate plus evidence that the swimming pool is registered. This includes contracts for sale of a lot in a strata scheme or a community scheme where there is a swimming pool on the common property or the association property.

Reasons for the detail in commencing the final stage of amendments

The delay in the commencement date is due to a number of concerns including:

  • the readiness of councils, accredited certifiers and owners of swimming pools;
  • high inspection failure rates of swimming pools adding to delays for the issuance of compliance certificates; and
  • the recognition that the new disclosure requirements has created problems for owners of properties where the swimming pool is within multi-occupancy properties, such as strata schemes where the pool is located on common property.

Implementing the postponement

As a result of Parliament not sitting between 27 March 2014 and 6 May 2014, Government is currently working through difficulties in implementing this postponement in the appropriate manner. Keep an eye out for further updates in this regard.

Authors: Cameron Sheather & Ross Russo


Contacts:

Cameron Sheather, Senior Associate
T: +61 2 8083 0461
E: cameron.sheather@holdingredlich.com

 

Disclaimer

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. 

Cameron Sheather

Published by Cameron Sheather

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