What do I need to know when purchasing a house with a non-shared pool?

Pool safety laws in Queensland came into effect for new pools in 2009 and for existing pools in 2010 to answer the growing number of children under 5 drowning.

A non-shared pool in Queensland is a pool which is used solely for private and individual use by the property on which it is situate.

Under the current swimming pool safety laws for non-shared pools in Queensland, a Pool Safety Certificate is required to be issued by a licensed pool safety inspector. Pool Safety Certificates are valid for two years from the date of issue. If a Pool Safety Certificate is unable to be issued a Notice of Non-Conformity stating the works required for a Pool Safety Certificate can be issued.

Clause 4.7 of the current standard Real Estate in Queensland Contract for the purchase of house and residential land (the “Contract”) relates to pool safety.  At the time of selling, the seller must either hold a:

  • Pool Safety Certificate valid up to the date of settlement; or
  •  Form 36 Notice of No Pool Safety Certificate. The Form 36 advises the buyer that there is no current Pool Safety Certificate for the pool on the property and the buyer has up to 90 days following settlement to obtain one. The buyer is also liable to pay any costs of rectification necessary to comply with the pool safety requirements.

Page 4 of the reference schedule allows the Contract to be subject to a pool safety inspection by a licensed inspector by a due date. Pursuant to clause 4.7 (3) of the Contract the buyer is responsible for arranging the inspection at the buyers cost. If a Pool Safety Certificate has not issued by the inspection due date, the buyer may be able to terminate the Contract when acting reasonably.

Once a Pool Safety Certificate has been issued, the pool will be registered on the Queensland Government’s Pool Safety Register. Failing to register your pool can result in an on the spot fine of $227.70 or a maximum penalty of up to $2,277.00 if a complaint is made against you.

Please contact our office without delay to ensure that you will not be subject to this penalty. We are able to provide you with detailed legal advice on your rights under a Contract of sale for residential house and land where a non-shared pool exists. We are able to draft a special condition if you would like the seller to obtain a pool safety certificate prior to your settlement.