Selling or leasing your property? Changes to swimming pool compliance apply to you!

Previously, we wrote about the changes to swimming pool compliance, which were due to take effect in April this year. The requirements for the sale (and leasing) of properties with a swimming pool have undergone some changes and a new set of compliance requirements commenced on 29 April 2016.

Certificate of Non-Compliance – Passing responsibility to the purchaser

Previously, owners were required to obtain a valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate (no more than 3 years old) along with a registration certificate evidencing that the pool had been registered on the online register (www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au).

For clients selling their property, the changes now include the option to obtain a certificate of non-compliance as an alternative to the certificate of compliance. Certificates of non-compliance are issued in the case where a certificate of compliance cannot be obtained and shift the responsibility of obtaining the certificate of compliance to the purchaser.

A certificate of non-compliance cannot be used if you are leasing your property.

I am selling a property with a swimming pool. What do I need to do?

Unless you have already done so, you must arrange an inspection by Council or a private certifier (known as ‘E1 Certifiers’) before you sell your property and obtain either a certificate of compliance or a certificate of non-compliance.

If your swimming pool is less than 3 years old and you have a relevant occupation certificate, you do not need to obtain a compliance certificate, but you must ensure that your pool is registered.

An inspection by a local authority must be carried out within 10 business days where an inspection is requested for the purposes of a lease or sale. If the certifier is not satisfied that the swimming pool complies with the requirements, then a certificate of non-compliance will be issued within seven days, along with a written notice setting out the reasons why the requirements have not been met and the steps to be carried out to meet those requirements.

You should give a copy of your certificate of compliance, certificate of non-compliance or occupation certificate (whichever is applicable) to your solicitor, as it must be attached to the contract for sale. Failure to attach one of these documents is deemed a breach of of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 (NSW) and a purchaser will be able to cancel the contract and have their deposit refunded.

I am purchasing a property with a swimming pool. How do the changes apply to me?

Purchasers who complete a sale with a certificate of non-compliance attached to the contract will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify the non-compliance issues. Purchasers should inform themselves of the nature and extent of the non-compliance issues and assess whether the cost of rectifying those issues is reflected in the purchase price.

Rectifying the areas of non-compliance could involve extensive and expensive works. Purchasers must be satisfied before they sign a contract that they are happy to carry out the works and can afford them. To that end, we suggest purchasers obtain a pre-purchase contract review before attending an auction or signing a contract with an agent. As part of our pre-purchase contract review service, we make enquiries with the sellers and will obtain a copy of the notice issued by the certifier that will detail the areas of non-compliance so that you can make an informed decision regarding the purchaser price or if you want to buy the property at all.

Exemptions – strata schemes and off-the-plan contracts

Strata and community schemes comprising are subject to mandatory inspections every three years and a certificate of compliance must be maintained by the scheme. However, an owner of a lot in a strata or community scheme is not required to attach the certificate of compliance to the contract for sale. This exemption does not apply to 2 lot strata schemes (such as duplexes).

A general exemption also applies to off-the-plan contracts.

If you have any queries about buying or selling a property with a swimming pool, please contact us today by phoning (02) 9481 9800, emailing us at admin@trouncerlegal.com or filling out our contact form here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>