Having a house with a pool or spa can be amazing. They look great, it’s an enjoyable form of exercise, you’ll often find you’re the most popular person in your family or friendship group with everyone wanting to cool off in summer, and they can add value to your home.
Despite all the positives, there are also many regulations to consider and specific legal obligations that come into play when selling a house with a pool or spa. These regulations can be complicated, and are split into different categories depending on when your pool was built. Let’s take a closer look at what they mean.
Pools built before 1 July 1993
When a property isn’t up for sale, it’s only a requirement for the swimming pool to comply with the old Swimming Pools Safety Act 1972. This Act simply requires the owner to ensure that the pool is enclosed by a fence, wall or building to restrict access by young children.
When you decide to put your house up for sale that’s when things change. At that point, you are required to ensure you meet the current requirements for swimming pool safety in South Australia. For properties sold after 1 October 2008, this means that any child-safety barriers must comply with the Minister’s Specification SA 76D. This specification determines that the barriers must be installed to separate the pool area from the house wherever possible.
Pools built on or after 1 July 1993
With pools built on or after 1 July 1993, they must comply with rules that were present at the time of construction, which include the Development Act 1993 and the Building Code of Australia. These regulations restrict access to the pool from the house, garage, street and any adjoining properties.
Trust us when we say we know how confusing these regulations can be! Basically, for your pool fence to meet the current requirements we encourage you to ensure that:
- It is more than 1.2 metres high
- If the fence is against the boundary of your property, it is more than 1.8 metres high
- It is not possible young children to climb over, crawl under or squeeze through
- It is permanent.
For any gates to the pool area ensure they:
- Only swing outward
- Are self-closing
- Have a latching device 1.5 metres above ground level
- Are never propped open.
If you’re looking at buying a house that includes a pool or spa, the best way to ensure that it does meet the safety requirements is to request an inspection and obtain a certificate of compliance from a private pool certifier.
For more information please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here at Eastern Conveyancing, or read over this helpful pool safety fact sheet.
The comments above are of a general nature only and are not intended to be, and should not be regarded as, legal advice. For legal advice on your specific circumstances, you must consult a suitably qualified professional advisor.
Image Credit: Raphaël Biscaldi