Drowning in red tape… NSW Pool Compliance changes to test home sellers
There are big changes afoot for those pool-owner vendors who are considering selling this year and haven’t yet taken the necessary steps to ensure their pool is compliant. The cutoff of April 2014 was extended last year to April 2015, with all properties with a swimming pool or spa pool now being sold or leased from 29 April 2015 requiring a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate. What is vital for sellers to realise is that this includes any property with a swimming pool that is on the market before the deadline, because the certificate must be annexed to the Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land. Such properties cannot be advertised for sale or lease if a valid certificate is not in place. A game-changer for those disorganised home sellers.
The mistake unprepared pool owners may make is leaving it too late to organise inspections by the relevant local council or private certifier, in order to ensure they have a compliance certificate. I believe there may well be a rush in March/April which will quickly overwhelm local authorities, and cause delays even obtaining appropriately-licensed tradesmen to carry out necessary safety repairs in order to comply. This could result in a dearth of properties with pools on the market during the April-June period here in NSW, and particularly affect the market in suburbs where pools are a common item on the menu for family home hunters.
I’m all for compliance and believe that this is definitely a step in the right direction for pool owners and for the ongoing safety of our children. However, it is up to the local government authorities and certifiers to ensure that they are also prepared for the likely increased demand for certification inspections in the coming months. Let’s hope that they have taken this into consideration this time around and have extra staff to cope with the wave of demand that is coming.
Real estate agents, solicitors and conveyancers also have expressed their concerns to us already this year, in that many sellers will not be ready in time or are unaware of what is required. NSW Fair Trading have also put out useful easy-to-read guidelines that all pool owner vendors (who aren’t yet compliant) should be aware of. See link here