Council undertakes periodic inspections on all private swimming pools to ensure that compliance is being met.
Complying with the NSW Pool Fencing Regulations
Many people are confused regarding the most recent 2018 Swimming Pools Regulation and associated Standards that apply to Swimming Pool Compliance in NSW. Owning a pool with a non-compliant fence comes with great risk. If a child gets into your pool enclosure and there is an incident, and even worse, an accident or death, you will find yourself self-insured unless you have notified your insurer that you do not hold a Compliance Certificate as per your duty of care. All pool enclosures must comply with the NSW swimming pool compliance regulations whether you are familiar with the regulations or not.
While leasing or selling properties with swimming pools
Are you planning to sell or rent a property with a swimming pool? There are several points worth your consideration and if not addressed can have quite an impact on your liability. First and foremost under the new legislation you cannot lease out your property with a pool or spa without first organising and obtaining a Certificate of Compliance. Property Managers should not be advertising properties and it certainly is a huge risk to allow a tenant to reside in your property without including a current Compliance Certificate within the Leasing Contract
Leasing or selling properties with swimming pools have specific rules in NSW. In 2013 it became mandatory for all swimming pools to be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. If your pool or spa is not registered, the first step is to organise registration. How do you check? Go to www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au and type in your address. If there is no evidence of a registered pool at your address, read on for instructions on how to register your pool or spa.
Next step, book an inspection with Council. This is essential for landlords with expiring compliance certificates and where tenants have given notice. Landlords must not enter into a new Lease without a current Compliance Certificate. Owners who are selling do have the option to sell with a Non Compliance Certificate, but must still have their pool enclosure inspected by an Accredited Certifier.
Are you buying a House with a Pool?
When it comes to buying a house with a swimming pool, most purchasers prefer to buy a house where the pool that has been issued with a Compliance Certificate as this means the buyer can rest easy knowing that the pool enclosure is safe and compliant. We meet many new owners who have no idea how to rectify the issues because these were not explained to them. This is where your Accredited Certifier can assist with advice specific to your pool enclosure.
Making Sure Your Kid’s are Safe in the Pool
Kids want to spend all their time in the pool where they play and jump around with much excitement but kids are unaware of the hidden dangers that pool owners must become familiar with. Sure, your swimming pool is a great place for relaxation and enjoyment, but you should make sure that the safety of your kids shouldn’t be overlooked by ensuring your pool fences do the job they are intended for – keeping children out of the pool unless actively supervised by an adult.
You should supervise your under 5’s at all times and never allow them to play around the pool without active arm’s length supervision. Moreover, installing a compliant pool barrier is also vital to restrict the access of your kids into the pool without you. Children are attracted to water, but must learn that a secure fence is there to protect innocent youngsters from the dangers of getting into trouble in the water. Many pool owners are unable to identify the difference between a compliant and a non-compliant pool fence as they are not familiar with the Regulations and Standards that apply to their pool.
Registering your Pool on the Swimming Pool Register –
To register your swimming pool, just fill out the on line registration form by answering four simple questions about your property and swimming pool or spa.
If your pool fails to meet the pool fence standards –
Council will issue a non-compliance certificate if your pool fails to meet the pool fence standards. The purpose of a non-compliance certificate is simple – it allows home owners to market and potentially sell their property without rectifying the non-compliances first. The purchaser agrees to rectify all non-compliances and they have 90 days to do that before they are in breach of the terms of the non-compliance certificate.
All swimming pools and spas are required to be compliant. Just because you are selling does not mean you are totally exempt, Council has a mandate to inspect every swimming pool in the LGA area. Council Officers will generally help out by providing details on how to rectify your pool fencing so that you can achieve compliance. It is perceived by some companies that Councils will not offer solutions to achieve compliance, this is not the case, Council Officers want to ensure that all swimming pool barriers are safe, if for nothing else but for the safety of your family.
The check list provided below will help you self-assess your swimming pool barrier to ensure that it is up to standard and compliant when inspections are carried out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a fence around the portable pool I have just bought from Kmart, target, Bunnings etc?
Yes. If the swimming pool holds 300mm of water, regardless if it’s a blow up pool or otherwise, must have a barrier to restrict access.
Do I need to fence (install a child resistance barrier for) my fish pond?
No. If a fish pond has been designed and, manufactured to be solely used as a fish pond, then no child-resistant barrier is required.
Do I need to fence (install a child resistance barrier for) my spa?
You need to fence your spa pool if it is not covered and secured by a lockable lid.
Will pool owners with existing pools that have exemptions for fencing requirements now be required to upgrade their pool barriers?
No. However, if a pool owner has voluntarily fenced the pool or has made substantial changes, then
any exemption is voided and the pool must meet its particular fencing requirements.
Whose responsibility is it to make sure children are safe around private pools?
The pool owner. While the Government provides the legislative framework to ensure a high standard of private pool barrier fencing, ultimate responsibility for pool safety lies with pool owner/s to ensure that their pool barriers comply with the prescribed standard, and with parents and carers of young children to ensure that they are adequately supervised around pools at all times.
Can I get a Compliance Certificate for peace of mind, even if I’m not selling or leasing my property?
Yes. You can organise for a private certifier or a council officer to inspect your pool. A fee will be charged.
How do I find out which Australian Standard applies to my pool fence?
Checklists are available at:
www.dlg.nsw.gov.au and www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au.
How do I register my pool?
Swimming pools are to be registered at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au. Your local council can do this on your behalf for a fee of up to $10.00.
What information do I need to register my swimming pool?
You will be required to enter your name, address, contact details, the type of pool, and the approximate age of pool. You will need to complete a self-assessment checklist about your pool.
Will I incur a fine if I get my self-assessment wrong?
No. It is a self-assessment only.
What does a ‘self-assessment’ entail?
You will use a simple checklist to self-assess if your pool fence meets the appropriate Australian
How much will it cost me to register my swimming pool?
There is no fee to register your swimming pool online. Your local council may charge you up to $10.00 if you ask them to register your pool on your behalf.
I have recently purchased a property that has a swimming pool. What do I need to do to change the registration details?
The register is about a pool at an address. You do not need to update any ownership details.
You should check the Pool Safety information checklists available from the register website.
I own a home unit in a complex that has a swimming pool. Do I need a compliance certificate before I can sell or lease it?
As at 29 April 2016 a pool it is a requirement to have a compliance certificate to sell or lease your unit. Your body corporate or strata manager will hold the compliance certificate on behalf of all unit holders and make it available to pool owners when or if required.
How do I know if a pool has been registered?
You will not be able to search the Swimming Pool Register to check if a pool is registered at an address. Council will be able to provide this information upon request.
I am looking at selling my property with a pool. What are my responsibilities?
Your pool must have been registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
You will need to have a current swimming pool compliance certificate. However a non-compliance certificate can be used to allow home owners to market and potentially sell their property without rectifying the non-compliances first. The purchaser agrees to rectify all non-compliances and they have 90 days to do that before they are in breach of the terms of the non-compliance certificate.
My current compliance certificate will soon expire (after three years). Do I need to get another compliance certificate before it expires?
Only tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments automatically need a current compliance certificate.
You do not need to update your compliance certificate unless you are selling or leasing your property after 29 April 2016.
Do I need to get another compliance certificate every time I lease my property to a new tenant?
No. A compliance certificate is valid for three years.
I don’t think my neighbours have registered their pool. Can I do it for them?
It is the owner’s responsibility to do this. If you have concerns about the swimming pool’s compliance, contact your local council.
My neighbour leases his property and I don’t think the pool is registered or has a compliance certificate. Who should I contact?
You should contact your local council regarding enforcement of the Swimming Pools Act.
How long is a compliance certificate valid?
A compliance certificate is valid for a period of three years, unless a subsequent inspection finds the pool to be non-compliant.
Who can provide me with a compliance certificate?
Your local council or an accredited certifier under the Building Professional Act 2005 (a Private
How much does a compliance certificate cost?
Local councils may charge a maximum of $150 for an initial inspection. If a further inspection is required, a fee of no more than $100 may be charged. Private certifiers will set their own schedule of fees.