Time’s Up! Exemption Period Ends for Rental Properties with Swimming Pools

1. Exemption period for leased properties

To assist victims of the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi, the Government enacted an exemption to the application of the pool safety laws for rental properties with non-shared pools, such as houses.  This exemption applied from 8 January to 8 July 2011 and allowed these properties to be leased without a pool  safety certificate.

This exemption period ended on the 8th of July 2011.  From now on all property owners leasing their properties will need to have a pool safety certificate in effect before an accommodation agreement is entered into.

Failure to have a pool safety certificate in effect prior to an accommodation agreement being signed can result in a fine for the pool owner of $1,600.  Fines are now being issued to property owners for this offence, and the Department of Local Government and Planning will be pursuing all property owners found to be in breach of this requirement.

2. Key changes under the reforms

Sale — Non-shared pools
Where a property is sold, a buyer must obtain a pool safety certificate within 90 days of settlement, if the seller does not provide them with a certificate. Sellers are required to notify the potential purchaser if there is no certificate (Form 36) before entering a contract of sale.

Sale and lease — Shared pools
The owner of a shared pool (e.g. the body corporate) must obtain a pool safety certificate if one is not already in place within 90 days of a sale or lease taking place.  But note that shared pool owners can take advantage of a two year amnesty period on obtaining certificates that ends on 30 November 2012.

Pool Safety Certificates — Validity
Pool safety certificates are valid for one year for shared pools and two years for non-shared pools.  If another sale or lease occurs within this time, another certificate is not necessary.

Further information, including Fact Sheets and Guidelines are available at www.dlgp.qld.gov.au/pool-safety

For more information, please contact Building Codes Queensland, Department of Infrastructure and Planning on 1800 340 634 or email psc@dlgp.qld.gov.au
Source:  Department of Infrastructure and Planning

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