In the past twenty years, twenty-seven children have drowned in Victorian backyard pools and spas – a heart-breaking statistic.
To address this issue, the Victorian government has introduced new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety.
The new laws apply to swimming pools and spas that are capable of holding more than 300mm (30cm) of water. This includes permanent pools, above ground pools, indoor pools, hot tubs, bathing or wading pools and some relocatable pools.
It is now mandatory for owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located to register their pool or spa with the relevant local council.
Councils will charge a fee to register a pool or spa, and a separate fee to look up the pool’s construction date.
The deadline to register is the first of November this year, and significant fines – up to $1600 – will apply to homeowners who miss the deadline.
Owners are also required to have their safety barriers inspected and to lodge a Certificate of Barrier Compliance with their council, within 30 days of receiving the certificate. If a safety barrier is not compliant, it is the owner’s responsibility to rectify this.
If your pool or spa was constructed on or before 30 June 1994, you then have until 1 November 2021 to submit a certificate of compliance. From 1 July 1994 to 30 April 2010, this date is 1 November 2022, and from I May 2010 to 31 October 2020, the deadline is 1 November 2023.
Certificates of Barrier Compliance are then required to be lodged every 4 years.
The Victorian Building Authority has comprehensive information on the new legislation, the fees and fines, and how to comply.
Selling A Home with A Pool?
A pool or spa can be a great selling point for your home.
If you are selling your home, it is now your responsibility to make sure pool and spa barriers are up to code before putting the property on the market. Contact your local council or an approved inspector to have your barriers checked and have written evidence of compliance to reassure potential buyers there are no issues.
If the pool and spa barrier is not up to code at the time of the acceptance of an offer, you may jeopardise the settlement or even cause the offer to fall through.
The safest course of action is to get your certificate of compliance organised before you think about getting your home ready to sell.
What Else Do I Need Before I Sell?
If you have completed renovations or alterations to your property within the last 6.5 years and are about to put your property on the market, you will need an Owner Builder Defects Report – also known as a ‘137b’. This report forms part of your Section 32 documents. The purpose of the report is to protect both the purchaser and the owner – the purchaser knows the condition of the renovated property before a transaction takes place, and the owner will be able to obtain domestic building insurance (required for work over the value of $16,000).
An Owner Builder Defects Report not more than six months old is required for ALL work regardless of value.
The Home Inspection Hub can arrange a fully-qualified inspector to carry out an owner builder inspection and issue an Owner Builder Defect Reports. We offer this service throughout Melbourne, Geelong, and Central Victoria and can email your report to you within 24 hours of the completion of your inspection.
Call us on 1300 071 283 or ask us for a free quote today on one of our