Can You Sell A House With A Non-Compliant Pool?
The short answer is, possibly.
When selling a house with a pool there are certain requirements that need to be met by the vendor (home owner), agent and landlords. In NSW, these requirements fall under the Swimming Pool Act 1992 and the Conveyancing Act 1919.
What these acts dictate is that you must prove, through certification evidence, that the pool or spa on the property is safe and complies with legislative requirements and safety standards. In NSW, if you are selling a property that has a pool or a spa, you are required to provide the following documents in the sale contract:
1. Evidence that the pool or spa is registered on the NSW Swimming Pools Register; and
2. Either a certificate of compliance, non-compliance or an occupation certificate;
These things must be included in the contract supplied to the agent before the property can be put up for sale. Failure to supply the mandatory documents in the sales contract may allow the purchaser to withdraw without penalty.
You must provide a certificate of non-compliance to sell
If a pool or spa is deemed non-compliant, the certifier will state why in the certificate. A vendor then has two options. They can choose whether to fix the issues before placing the property on the market for sale and obtain an updated compliance certificate. Or, they can simply sell the house with a non-compliant pool or spa provided the non-compliance certificate is supplied with the contract of sale.
Once the property is sold the obligation to make the pool compliant passes to the purchaser. The exception is if the pool or spa is considered a risk to public safety, in which case you will not be able to sell the property until this has been rectified. If you have an occupation certificate issued within the last 3 years that includes the pool, the obligation to obtain a compliance certificate is waived. Instead, the occupation certificate must be included in the contract for sale.
How do I find out if my pool is registered?
The NSW government maintains a pool and spa register which you can check here. If the pool is not registered, you can simply follow the links on the website to complete the registration process.
How can I obtain a compliance certificate?
To obtain a certificate of compliance or non-compliance you will need to obtain the services of a certified pool inspector. You can book in an inspection with your local Council or local inspector and your property solicitor can help guide you in this regard. NSW local council inspectors, and category A1, A2, A3 and E1 accredited certifiers who are registered with the NSW Building Professional Board, are authorizsed to inspect and certify pools.
They will then carry out an inspection and based on a range of criteria will either certify the pool or spa as being compliant or non-compliant.
How long does a compliance certificate last?
A compliance certificate or occupation certificate are valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue. A non-compliance certificate is valid for a period of 12 months.
Do I have the same requirements when selling a property with a spa?
The rules and regulations cover all pool and spas that can hold more than 30cm of water. This includes spas, hot tubs, above and inground pools. So yes, a spa is required both to be registered and have a compliance or non-compliance certificate.
It doesn’t matter if the spa is empty. If a spa is noted as being included in the sale, then you will need to have these things in order before the property can be marketed.
Exemptions from requirements
The exemptions from the above requirements are as followed:
· contracts relating to a strata property comprising of a total of more than two lots, or
· contracts relating to an off-the-plan contract.
An experienced property solicitor can help you ascertain whether your property falls under one of these exemptions.
Purchasing a property with a pool or spa
Before purchasing a house with a pool or spa it is highly advisable that you ensure the pool or spa is compliant with the requirements of the Act. If you are purchasing a house with a pool or spa that has been marked non-compliant, the obligation to make the pool or spa compliant passes to you.
Accordingly, upon purchasing the property you will have 90 days from the date of settlement to remedy all the identified defects and make the pool compliant. If the correct documentation has not been included in the contract of sale you may rescind the contract within 14 days of exchange, unless settlement has already occurred.
For any questions or advice about buying or selling a house with a pool or spa, compliancy or non-compliant certifications, get in touch with a property solicitor, from Lawpoint and read our ten steps to buying property in NSW.
For any questions or advice about buying or selling a property with a pool or spa the team at Lawpoint is able to help.
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