June 23, 2023

Pool Safety Certificates And Buying Or Selling Property In Queensland

Queensland’s warm, sunny climate makes a home with a swimming pool an attractive choice for many people. But when it comes to buying or selling property in the sunshine state, whose responsibility is it to ensure compliance with pool safety regulations?

The standard REIQ contract for the sale of property in Queensland requires the seller to make a disclosure about whether or not there is a current Pool Safety Certificate for any pool on the property.

If there is no current Pool Safety Certificate when the contract of sale is made, and the seller does not provide one by settlement, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract.

The exception to this is where the seller provides a Form 36 Notice Of No Pool Safety Certificate to the buyer prior to signing the contract.

What If There Is Still No Pool Safety Certificate At Settlement?

If there is no Pool Safety Certificate at settlement, it becomes the buyer’s responsibility to obtain one within ninety days of the settlement date. There are serious penalties for failure to comply with this legal requirement.

Pool Safety Laws

Regardless of the position under the REIQ contract of sale, pool safety laws in Queensland require strict compliance with a pool safety standard that all pool owners must comply with.

Non compliance with this standard puts pool owners at the risk of enforcement action by the local council, and even criminal prosecution.

What Is A Pool Safety Certificate?

A Pool Safety Certificate is formal confirmation that a pool conforms to pool safety laws. These certificates are typically valid for two years for non-shared pools.

To obtain a Pool Safety Certificate, the pool and surrounding area must be inspected by a licensed pool safety inspector, who can then issue the certificate if they are satisfied that the pool is compliant.

How To Find A Pool Safety Inspector

A pool safety inspection must be carried out by a qualified pool safety inspector. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (“QBCC”) has a list of licensed pool safety inspectors available online.

How To Arrange A Pool Safety Inspection

Pool owners can arrange pool safety inspections by contacting a qualified pool safety inspector. After carrying out the inspection, the inspector will issue a pool safety certificate if they are satisfied that the pool is compliant.

If the inspector finds that the pool is not compliant, they will issue a nonconformity notice, unless they inspect the pool again within two days and are satisfied that the pool meets the safety standards at that time, or it is agreed that the inspector will carry out minor works within 20 days of the initial inspection.

Once the pool safety certificate is issued, it should be provided to the Buyers of the property if the property is being sold.

As noted above, either the certificate or a Form 36 should be provided to the Buyer prior to entering into the contract.


What Does The Pool Safety Inspector Assess?

Your inspector will conduct your pool inspection against the pool safety standard. There are many aspects to this assessment, including;

  • Whether pool fence meets legal requirements
  • Whether the pool gates close and latch by themselves
  • Whether there is a non climbable zone 900mm away from the outside of the fence and 300mm away from the inside i.e., whether there are any climbable objects around the pool area
  • Whether access from the house to the pool is possible from windows, balconies or doors
  • Whether a CPR sign is prominently displayed

What Are The Consequences Of Non-Compliance?

While the QBCC is in charge of licensing pool safety inspectors, the enforcement of pool safety laws falls to your local council. The council has the right to;

  • Enter your property to inspect your pool to ensure the pool complies with pool safety regulations
  • Issue fines or refer owners of non compliant pools for criminal prosecution
  • Cancel your pool safety certificate if the pool is found not to be compliant
  • Assess applications for exceptions to part of the safety standards on grounds of impracticality or disability.


Pool Safety Rules And Shared Pools

Different rules apply to swimming pools that are shared pools. A swimming pool is a shared pool where the residents of two or more dwellings can use the pool (for example, in a community titles scheme such as a unit complex, or in a caravan park, or boarding house).

Considerations for shared pools include that the pool safety certificate must be prominently displayed at the entrance to the pool, and will expire after one year. If there is a body corporate, they must provide a copy of the certificate to the individual lot owners.

QBCC Pool Safety Register

The QBCC Pool Register is a searchable record of all registered swimming pools and pool safety certificates. This record can be searched by entering the address of the property.

The Qld pool safety register can be found here.

More Questions?

If you have more questions about buying or selling a property with a swimming pool in Queensland, our experienced conveyancing solicitors are happy to chat about any aspect of conveyancing law. Get in touch today, or head over to our quote page for a free quote.

The above is not legal advice and is general information only.