Last month we spoke about vital things property buyers should know about stamp duty for a smooth settlement. This month, our tips for smooth settlement are for the seller, and focused on swimming pool compliance.

A swimming pool is a wonderful feature, both for a property’s value and the enjoyment of the people who live there, especially kids. It is, however, also a safety risk in terms of death by drowning and injuries, especially for young children. 

Pool safety: Whose responsibility?

Owner. The owner is responsible for ensuring that appropriate safety barriers are built around any swimming pools and spas more than 300 mm deep. Safety laws must be observed for both permanent in-ground pools and portable above-ground ones. The owner can potentially be fined for failing to take responsibility for swimming pool safety on their private property. 

Why is pool safety important?

Swimming pool rules are there for a purpose: The most common cause of preventable death in children aged 0 to 5 is drowning, and about 19 out of 20 cases occur in private homes (at their own home, a neighbour’s, relative’s or friend’s). In the past five years, WA has recorded 16 toddler drownings, and there are 10 times more near-drowning incidents.  

Parenting young children is highly demanding as it is, and it is too easy to let an innocent toddler who loves a good splash in the pool slip away, push through a faulty gate, or struggle quietly unnoticed. There is no guarantee that the presence of many adults or other children will keep the little ones safe, as it may only take seconds (when their attention is elsewhere) for tragedy to happen.   

What are the rules for pools and spas?

The WA government’s Rules for pools and spas page provides a comprehensive list of rules and regulations as well as other information:

They include:

  • Why pool safety is important.
  • The laws that apply to pool safety, the types of pools that must comply with legislation, and penalties for non-compliance.
  • The different compliance criteria for pools built before and after May 2016, with illustrated examples.
  • The responsibility of the local government in terms of pool inspections and granting pool permits.
  • Safety requirements for portable and above-ground pools and spas.
  • Specifications for barrer design and construction including climbable objects, horizontal surfaces, gates, latches, doors, and windows. 
  • Frequently asked questions.

What types of pools must comply?

Any below-ground, above-ground, indoor, portable or other types of pool or spa that can be filled with water to 300 mm or deeper. Excluded are bathroom spas and baths, which are emptied after each use. 

What if your property for sale has a pool?

  1. Check with your real estate agent to ensure that your pool safety barriers are compliant with statutory requirements. 
  2. If you’re not sure, ask your local government council. They are required by law to inspect your pool for safety compliance once every four years, or can re-inspect it anytime in between at your request.
  3. If there are any non-compliances, the owner must get them fixed, then obtain a certificate of compliance via another inspection.

 How KDD Conveyancers helps

Let KDD make things easier for you:

  • We can provide relevant information to property sellers, so they know what steps to take to ensure compliance.
  • When you don’t know what you don’t know – Our caring and experienced specialists can help you create a positive property settlement experience that is as supported, smooth flowing, and pleasant as possible. We have the people and technology to make it work out right for you. 

Ask us to find out how you could benefit from our input.

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