LAMThe requirement that before a property can be sold or leased, the owner or landlord must have an up-to-date swimming pool certificate of compliance, has been postponed more than once. New laws have now been introduced which allow sellers to pass on the obligation for swimming pool barrier compliance to buyers. For affected properties, the new laws will apply to any contract for sale signed on or after 29 April 2016.

The main changes that operate from 29 April 2016 include the following:

Contracts for sale of land with pools must attach one of the following:

  1. a valid certificate of compliance;
  2. an occupation certificate (for newly constructed swimming pools instead of a certificate of compliance); or
  3. a certificate of non-compliance (if a pool barrier does not comply) EXCEPT FOR:
  4. Strata and Community Schemes that comprise more than 2 lots, or an off the plan contract.

Failure to attach 1., 2. or 3. to the contract is an offence and may give a buyer the right to rescind the contract. If the contract is rescinded by a buyer, the seller must refund the deposit in full to the buyer.

Sellers are now able to transfer the obligation of obtaining a ‘certificate of compliance’ to the buyer by an appropriately drafted contract that attaches a ‘certificate of non-compliance’ to the contract.

The buyer of a property with a non-compliant swimming pool has 90 days from the date of settlement to address any issues of pool barrier non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.

For sellers you need to make sure you are aware of your obligations when selling residential property. A real estate agent must not offer your residential property for sale unless a complete contract is prepared attaching all the prescribed documents and is available for inspection by prospective purchasers at the real estate agent’s registered office. Failure to do so is an offence and can result in the imposition of a penalty. For buyers you should make sure you get a copy of the notice that outlines the issues and rectification works needed before signing any contract that attaches a certificate of non-compliance so you can cost the work that needs to be done before you commit yourself to purchase.

At Everingham Solomons, we have the expertise to assist you with all of your legal matters including buying and selling property because Helping You is Our Business.

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