Queensland Swimming Pool Safety Certificates and QLD Fencing Laws: Know Your Legal Responsibilities

by Pool Builders on 06-07-2011 in Articles

Owning a swimming pool in Queensland, Australia is now a very serious business. Homeowners, property managers and landlords who don't comply with new QLD Government pool fencing laws could face fines of up to AU$16,500. (For companies, it's a whopping $82,500!) With the latest round of pool fencing now effective, it's now or never. Read on to ensure you don't get caught out!

Regular Pool Requirements

If you buy or sell any property with a non-shared pool (i.e. a pool exclusively accessed by a single dwelling), the pool must have a valid Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate in place within 90 days of the settlement. However, this is very much a last resort; if it can't be completed in time, the consequences can be huge. (In some cases, entire home ownership contracts have fallen through because a Safety Certificate could not be arranged!) The best practice is to communicate early and make sure the buyer, seller or Real Estate Agent is making steps to get a certificate in place before the settlement.

All non shared pools must be compliant with the new legislation by November 30, 2015.

New Shared Pool Requirements

There still seems to be a lot of confusion on what does and doesn't constitute a shared pool.

To be a shared pool, it must be accessible to "two or more dwellings". This applies mainly to residential unit complexes, as well as hotels, motels and other accommodation services.

If you are selling or leasing a property with such a shared pool, it is the responsibility of the defined pool owner (generally the Body Corporate) to get a Form 23 Pool Safety Certificate in place by 30 November 2012.

Short term accommodation owners (i.e. hotels and motels that don't have a Pool Safety Management Plan in place) have less time. If you fall into this category, you have until 31 May 2011 to arrange your certificate.

If no certificate is in place prior to this date, the pool owner will need to present a Form 36 Notice to the appropriate parties (such as the purchaser, tennant and government). In other words: the sooner you get it done, the less your paperwork burden!

Getting Your Pool Safety Certificate

While the deadline may seem distant, there is guaranteed to be a last-minute rush that could leave many unable to get their certificate in time. Happily, most pool fencing inspection services will be all too happy to pre-book an inspection and certification years in advance. The simple solution: pre-book today for peace of mind.

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