Here in SA the summers are HOT and a backyard pool can be an attractive selling point. On the flip side, backyard pools can pose a significant safety risk, especially to young children, and require ongoing vigilance by each new owner of the property. When you are buying or selling a house with a pool, there are some things to be aware of:
SELLING A PROPERTY WITH A POOL
(Pools built before 1 July 1993)
If you are selling your property with a swimming pool or spa pool, you are responsible for making sure current safety requirements for swimming pool safety are met. This may mean you have to upgrade fencing or barriers.
If the property where a swimming pool or spa pool is located is not for sale, the pool can continue to comply with the old Swimming Pools Safety Act 1972 (20.6 KB PDF). The Act requires a swimming pool or spa pool owner to ensure that the pool is enclosed by a fence, wall or building to restrict access by young children.
If the property is sold after 1 October 2008, the child-safety barriers must comply with Minister’s Specification SA 76D (298.1 KB PDF) before settlement. This means that barriers must be installed to separate the pool area from the house where ever possible.
The revised Minister’s Specification SA 76D took effect on 15 May 2014 by notice in the Government Gazette and only applies to prescribed swimming pools and spa pools as defined in section 71AA of the Development Act 1993.
(Pools built on or after 1 July 1993)
Swimming pools or spa pools built on or after 1 July 1993 must comply with the rules that were current when the application for construction was submitted. This includes the provisions of the Development Act 1993 and the Building Code of Australia to restrict access to the pool from the house, garage, street and any adjoining properties.
BUYING A PROPERTY WITH A POOL
While the current owner of the property (the vendor) must meet the legal requirements set out above, it’s important to understand that settlement will proceed on the ‘good faith’ that the pool or spa is compliant, if the Vendor says it is.
There is no legal requirement for the vendor to provide a certificate of compliance or any other evidence of the compliance.
If you are purchasing a property with a pool, we recommend asking that a certificate of compliance is provided prior to settlement, or arranging an independent inspection. These conditions MUST be included in the offer to purchase the property and reflected in the Contract for Sale.
Further information about pool and spa safety in South Australian can be found here: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/planning-and-property/owning-a-property/pool-and-spa-safety
Always consult a conveyancer before signing a contract to purchase a property in South Australia. Connolly Wilson Conveyancing services all of South Australia and we charge no up-front fees for advice.
Connolly Wilson Conveyancing’s team of registered conveyancers are South Australian experts in the legal transfer of interests in real property. The advice on this website is general in nature. We recommend discussing any planned property dealings with us to ensure all relevant details have been considered. You can chat to one of our friendly conveyancers by getting in touch today.