NSW Swimming Pool Regulations and Laws

Registration and certification requirements

Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children under 5 years of age. In 2012, the Swimming Pools Act 1992 was amended to improve the safety of children around swimming pools in NSW. The changes include:

  • Swimming pool owners must register their swimming pool or spa pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
  • Local councils and accredited certifiers registered with the Building Professionals Board, can carry out inspections of swimming pools.
  • From 29 April 2016 a copy of a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate must be attached to new residential tenancy agreements to rent property with a swimming pool or spa pool. This requirement does not apply to a lot in strata or community schemes with more than two lots.
  • From 29 April 2016 a copy of a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate, or a valid certificate of non-compliance, must be attached to the sales contract to sell property with a swimming pool or spa pool. This requirementdoes not apply:
    • to a lot in strata or community schemes with more than two lots, or
    • for any off-the-plan contract.

Do these laws apply to me?

These laws apply if you are the owner of a property with a swimming pool or spa pool. In a strata or community scheme, all the lot owners jointly own any swimming pool or spa pool that is on common property. The owners corporation (or body corporate) is responsible for ensuring such pools are compliant with the Swimming Pools Act 1992.

The law applies to any excavation, structure or vessel – including swimming pools and spa pools – that are:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 30cm, and
  • used, designed, manufactured or adapted for swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity.

Renting a property with a swimming pool or spa pool

From 29 April 2016 onwards, when a residential tenancy agreement is entered into for a property with a swimming pool or spa pool, the landlord or real estate agent must provide the tenant with a copy of the valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate.

This requirement does not apply to a lot in a strata scheme or in a community scheme if that strata or community scheme has more than two lots.

Selling a property with a swimming pool or spa pool

If you are selling a property with a swimming pool or spa pool on and after 29 April 2016, you must ensure the contract for sale includes:

  • a valid swimming pool certificate of compliance
  • a relevant occupation certificate issued within the last 3 years and evidence that the pool is currently registered
    or
  • a valid certificate of non-compliance.

This requirement does not apply to a lot in a strata scheme or in a community scheme if that strata or community scheme has more than two lots, or if the sales contract is for an off-the-plan property.

Not attaching the certificates when required may allow the purchaser to rescind the contract within 14 days of exchange, unless settlement has already occurred.

If a certificate of non-compliance is attached to the contract for sale, the vendor is transferring the obligation to obtain a certificate of compliance to the purchaser. The purchaser will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify defects listed in the certificate of non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.