As many Victorians will be aware, a new set of rules governing swimming pools and spas came into effect in this State at the start of the year. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, or even in an investment property that you rent out, it is important that you understand what these regulations involve.
The new rules cover all inground and above ground pools, indoor pools, hot tubs and spas that can hold water deeper than 30cm. Owners of these assets are now required to register their swimming pools and spas with their local council, and to obtain a regular compliance certificate to ensure that their pool fencing meets all safety regulations.
The most immediate deadline for Victorian backyard pool and spa owners to be aware of is that you have until 1 June 2020 to register your pool or spa with the local council. There will be a fee to do this, however the maximum that a council can charge for registration is just under $32.
Once you have completed your registration, the next key date will depend on the age of your pool or spa.
- For pools and spas constructed on or before June 1994, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2021.
- For pools and spas constructed between July 1994 and May 2010, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2022.
- For pools and spas constructed from May 2010 onwards, a certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged by 1 June 2023
It is worth noting that the potential penalties for failing to register a pool or spa within the relevant time frame, or to comply with a barrier improvement notice if your swimming pool is non-compliant, can be more than $1650.
With potential penalties of this magnitude, homeowners who have a pool or spa would be wise to ensure that they meet the new regulations. This will also be an issue for anyone considering selling a property with a pool or spa, as compliance is likely to be an issue that buyers will be asking about.
If you’d like more information on the new regulations, you can go straight to the Victorian Building Authority website.
Whether you have a swimming pool or not, the task of selling a property in an environment where the legal requirements are tending to increase as time goes by is not a task that should be undertaken without experienced, independent advice. That’s why having the team at Ian Reid Vendor Advocates can be so beneficial.
Speaking of beneficial advice, you’ll also find lots of helpful tips in our free booklet, “Fatal Real Estate Traps Exposed”, so be sure to download a copy while you’re here.