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Swimming pools and certificates of non-compliance

Now that the new disclosure regime for swimming pools is in force when selling and leasing a Property, it is a good time to look at some of the practical impacts of those changes and the trends we are seeing.

Under the new laws, Vendors are required to attach to a Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land (the Contract) either:

  • Certificate of Compliance issued by an approved authority (such as the local Council or a private certifier);
  • Certificate of Non-Compliance; or
  • Final Occupation Certificate noting the pool is registered.

If you would like a recap of the regime check out our earlier blog here.

We are now seeing an increase in Vendors attaching a Certificate of Non-Compliance to the Contract, therefore shifting the onus onto the Purchaser to undertake the rectification works to make the pool compliant under the Act.  The Purchaser has 90 days from settlement in which to do this and it is likely that the new owner will also be required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance confirming the works have been done.

clicklaw pools newsletter

The people who this will impact the most are investors and buyers with young families.

Investors wishing to immediately lease the Property will have down time when undertaking the rectification works.  Whilst it is permissible for a Vendor to attach a Certificate of Non-Compliance to a Contract, the same rules do not apply when it comes to leasing a property. Properties can only be leased with a Certificate of Compliance.  Investor buyers need to be aware that there will be a lag between ownership and leasing.  And in the case of young families wishing to move in immediately there are clearly safety concerns to be addressed.

Prudent Purchasers should undertake their due diligence in this regard, including assessing the likely costs of rectifying the pool to ensure it is compliant.  This factor is key in any negotiations.  Similarly, Vendors wishing to sell a Property with a non-compliant pool should be alert to the fact that this may turn off a large group of buyers not wishing to take on these tasks themselves.