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New laws surrounding properties in New South Wales (NSW) with swimming pools and spas were due to commence on 29 April this year after being delayed 12 months. However, the Minister for Local Government has announced a further extension until 29 April 2016.

The purpose of the new laws is to impose further obligations on owners of land with swimming pools to ensure standards for safety and security are adhered to.

Owners of properties with swimming pools in NSW will be required to have a valid certificate of compliance for the pool (or relevant occupation certificate) prior to selling or leasing the property. If a vendor selling a property with a swimming pool fails to provide the purchaser with a valid certificate of compliance for the pool (or relevant occupation certificate), the purchaser may be able to bring the contract to an end.

The process of obtaining a certificate of compliance involves an inspection of the swimming pool. If the inspection reveals that the pool does not comply with the law, then the owner of the property will be required, within a reasonable time, to undertake the works necessary to make the pool comply. Failure by the owner to undertake the requisite works may result in the Council undertaking the works, charging the owner the reasonable costs associated with the works and fining the owner up to $5,500.00.

Somewhat alarmingly, recent Local Government estimates indicate that up to 95% of swimming pools in NSW are non-compliant with the law and it may take up to four months to obtain the certificate of compliance.

The further delay to commencement of the new laws will hopefully allow affected land owners time to ensure their spas and swimming pools are compliant.

For more information, see the following Border Mail website link:

And for advice and assistance on all conveyancing and property matters in NSW and Victoria, contact the experienced lawyers at Burt & Hanke Legal in Albury.