Frequently Asked Questions
The Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012 has now come into effect and will affect all pool and spa owners in the state. Under these new laws, all pool owners in NSW must now register their pools and spas with an online registry provided by the NSW Government, and in the future, will need to have a compliance certificate before being able to lease any property with a pool. Local councils must also conduct routine inspections of pools in their area to ensure they are compliant.
Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this new legislation.
Why do I have to register my pool?
In October 2012, both houses of NSW Parliament passed the Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012 with the aim of making pools safer and reducing the number of child drowning in the state.
Among other things, this resulted in the Swimming Pool Register as a way of ensuring pools across the state are safe.
What type of pools have to be registered?
Any structure or vessel used for swimming that is capable of being filled to a depth of greater than 300 millimetres must be registered. This includes all in ground and above ground pools, spas, and any inflatable or framed portable pools.
How do I register my pool?
All swimming pools must be registered online at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au
Your local council can do this on your behalf for a fee of up to $10.
When do I have to register my pool?
You have until 29th October 2013 to registered your pool online.
How much will registering cost me?
Nothing, it is free to register.
If you get your local council to register on your behalf, it will cost up to $10.
What information do I need to register my pool?
You will need to provide your name, address, contact details, the type of pool and the approximate age of the pool. You will also need to complete a self-assessment of the pool to ensure it complies with the applicable standards.
What are the “applicable standards”?
These are covered in a simple checklist provided for you to self-assess the pool. These can be found on the registration website.
Will I be fined if I do not register my pool?
Authorised officers may fine owners $220 if their pool is not registered. If the matter is referred to court, a fine of up to $2,200 may be imposed.
I'm an investment property owner. What are my responsibilities?
As an owner, it will be your responsibility to register any pool that is part of the property(ies) you lease. Also, from the 29th April 2014, you will need to have a valid compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease any property with a pool. This certificate must be included in every new tenancy agreement entered into from that time.
The tenant has my permission to keep a portable pool on the property. How does this work?
As the tenant is the owner of that pool, it will be their responsibility to register that pool.
How will this affect me as a tenant?
If you lease a property that includes a pool, the landlord will be responsible for registering that pool. It shouldn't affect you as the tenant.
However, if you own and keep an inflatable or fabricated pool or a spa on the property that you lease, it will be your responsibility to register the pool.
My pool has been drained and is not in use. Do I still need to register this?
I have a spa at my investment property, but the tenants are not allowed to use it, as per our lease agreement. Does this need to be registered?
How do I know if a pool has been registered?
You will be able to search the Swimming Pool Register to check if a pool has been registered at that address.
Do I need to get a compliance certificate if I have a pool?
You should only need one from 29th April 2014 if you are selling or leasing your property with a pool.
How do I get a compliance certificate?
You will need to get your pool inspected to receive a certificate. Inspections will be carried out by local or private certifiers.
Do I need to get a compliance certificate every time I lease my property to a new tenant?
No. A compliance certificate is valid for a three year period.
Though you will need to ensure this certificate is provided with each new tenancy agreement entered into from this time.
How long is a compliance certificate valid for?
How much do compliance certificate cost?
Local councils can charge a maximum of $150 for initial inspections. If a further inspection is required, a fee of no more than $100 may be charged.
Private certifiers will have their own fees.
Will my pool be inspected in the future, even if I don't request an inspection from local council?
Under these new laws, local councils have been given 12 months to develop a program for initial and periodic inspection of pools in their area to ensure all pools are compliant with the Act. Councils must have their programs in place by 29th October 2013. It is expected that from this time, all pools will be inspected at least once in the next five years.