Pool Owners Beware! Is Your Pool Fully Compliant?


Recently introduced legislation will affect people who own, are leasing or selling a property with a swimming pool, requiring homeowners to ensure their pools are fully compliant.

Changes have come after a review of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 was finalised in 2012 and identified a number of amendments required to enhance the safety of children around swimming pools.The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 commenced on 29 October 2012 and involves staged implementation, with most changes coming into effect on deferred dates.

All pool owners

As of 29 April 2013, swimming pool owners are required to register their swimming pools on the NSW Governments online register. Swimming pool owners will be required to self-assess and affirm their swimming pool complies with the standard”, to the best of their knowledge.”

Pool owners can also have an inspection undertaken and obtain a certificate of compliance valid for 3 years.

Land Lords

Requirements that will now commence on 29 April 2015, will mean that property owners leasing property containing a pool will need to ensure that at the time the residential tenancy begins:

  • the pool holds a valid certificate of compliance, or an occupation certificate authorizing use of the swimming pool,no more than 3 years old;
  • is registered on the Governments Register; and
  • a copy of the certificate is given to the tenant.

Interestingly, these changes to the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010 will also affect  lot owners in strata schemes who have swimming pools on common property.


In addition to the warning in relation to a land owner’s obligations under the Swimming Pools Act, a Contract for Sale of a property with a pool will also have annexed:

  • a document evidencing registration from 29 October 2013; and
  • a certificate of compliance under the Act, or a relevant occupation certificate not more than 3 years old from 29 April 2015.

If the vendor fails to annex one of these certificates to the Contract, in accordance with these amendments to the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010, the purchaser may rescind the contract at any time within 14 days from exchange.

It is also important for purchasers of homes with pools to ensure the property complies with the amended legislation.

Hotels and Unit Blocks

The Act has been amended to apply to swimming pools on the common property of a strata scheme. Pools in hotels and units will now have mandatory council inspections every three years.

Your local council

Pool owners will be able to request that Council or an accredited certifier, inspect their pool and, if compliant, issue a certificate of compliance. Certificates of compliance are valid for 3 years and a fee is payable.

Local Councils are required to develop an inspection and certification program, and pool owners and occupiers are encouraged to contact their local council to check if their pool meets the legal requirements.


Property owners will be required to register their swimming pools on the online register, which is planned to become available by 29 April 2013.

Owners will be required to have their pool registered before 29 October 2013,and penalties will apply for failure to register swimming pools.


Local Councils will conduct safety and compliance inspections, either through their council staff or private operators. The amount councils will be able to charge for these inspections will be capped at $150.

Council will carry out checks randomly on private pools, while hotels and unit blocks will have mandatory inspections every three years. With these changes Councils have been given broad powers to enter private land.

A swimming pool subject to a Compliance Certificate will be exempt from the inspection program for three years from the date of issue of the certificate.

Who can issue Compliance Certificates?

Pool owners will need to initiate the inspection process, and local councils will be able to direct owners appropriately.

Under the act, compliance certificates can now be obtained from certifiers who are accredited under the Building Professional Act 2005.


Property owners who do not register their pools before 29 October 2013 will risk a fine of up to $220. Nevertheless, current sanctions for non-compliant pools will remain unchanged.


The Swimming Pools Act 1992 prescribes the safety and fencing requirements of backyard swimming pools in New South Wales.  The implications of these amendments are that owners will now need to register their pools by 29 October 2013 and after 29 April 2015 will need to arrange an inspection and certificate of compliance or occupation certificate, no more than 3 years old, if they intend to sell or lease their property .

The NSW State Government has provided a useful checklist for owners which can be downloaded using the following link. – Home Swimming Pool Safety Checklist

If you are contemplating buying or selling a property in New South Wales please do not hesitate to contact our conveyancing team at Taylor and Scott Lawyers who will be able to guide you through the amendments to the Swimming Pool Laws.

At Taylor & Scott “ We Care For You.”