Whether you’re an investor or tenant, there are many rules surrounding how you ensure the safety of your pool,
Pools are a great asset to have during the warmer months – they provide a reprieve from the heat, and an excellent way to entertain friends and family. But there are many rules surrounding how you ensure the safety of your pool, and whether you’re an investor or tenant – it’s important to know that your pool is safe and in good condition for summer.
Rules can vary depending on the location of the property, so it’s vital to familiarise yourself with the rules and norms in your area – and clarify any uncertainties with your property manager.
Getting familiar with the regulations in your area
In Queensland, property owners must have a pool safety compliance certificate from a licensed pool inspector prior to renting out their property – and they should include a copy with the tenancy agreement.
When it comes to pool maintenance responsibilities – this can vary. If the pool maintenance is covered by a contract between the property owner and an external company, this should also be listed in the tenancy agreement. The maintenance should be covered in the special terms of the tenancy agreement. But generally, the tenant is usually responsible for everyday maintenance – such as clearing leaves from the pool. This should be discussed prior to signing the agreement to avoid any unnecessary confusion. It is important to include the condition of any pools in the entry condition report, as the tenant will need to return the property in the same condition they received it - allowing for fair wear and tear. If a tenant is not familiar with pool maintenance, they should discuss this with their property manager for help.
Tenants renting a property that has a pool or outdoor spa in Victoria should check that the fence or safety barrier is secure – especially if there will be children living there.
It also needs to be ensured that all doors and gates providing access to a pool or spa must have self-closing and self-latching devices.
The Victorian Building Authority recommends checking that gates are not being misused or kept propped open. It’s also important to make sure there are no items that could be used to climb over the barrier within 900mm of the gate or fence –including tree branches and pot plants.
Tenants should ensure that all gates to the swimming pool or spa area are always closed, except when entering or leaving the area – and notify the landlord or property manager of any faults.
If there is a fault with the fence or barrier, which causes it to be unsafe, it can be classified as an urgent repair – and the owner or property manager must arrange for it to be fixed immediately.
Some pool maintenance can be indicated in the lease as the tenant’s responsibility – so it’s worth discussing it with your property manager and ensuring that everyone understands their duties in relation to caring for the pool and getting it ready for summer.
New South Wales
Pool owners in New South Wales are required to maintain the safety of their pool area. They must also register their swimming pool or spa pool on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
A copy of a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate must be attached to new residential tenancy agreements to rent a property with a swimming pool or spa. But this requirement doesn’t apply to a lot in strata or community schemes with more than two lots.
You can find out more about the safety requirements in your area by visiting the informative government website.
When it comes to looking after the pool, discussing roles and responsibilities with your property manager and consulting your lease agreement is recommended.
If you own a property with a pool in Tasmania, you are responsible for meeting Tasmanian safety requirements – whether you’re interested in renting out your property or not.
Every pool with a depth of 300mm or more is required to be fenced in accordance with Tasmanian legislation. This also applies to spa pools and portable pools as well.
Ensure your pool fence has a self-closing, self-latching gate in working order. All portable pools supplied in Australia are required to display a warning label with general safety information, including whether fencing laws apply. If you purchase a portable pool, follow this safety advice. Contact your property manager or consult your tenancy agreement for further information about maintenance responsibilities.
Owners with properties that have pools or spas in South Australia need to meet safety requirements within their area. All swimming pools or spas must have a continuous safety barrier maintained by the pool owner that restricts access by young children to the pool.
Owners must make sure that all required pool safety features are always maintained in working order. Gates should never be propped open – and it is very important that a gate closes and latches following every time it’s opened. For more information, talk to your property manager or visit the government website here.
If the properties in Western Australia have swimming pools or spas, the owner must ensure they are secure and in compliance with relevant safety standards.
State legislation requires safety barriers to be provided around private pools and spas for the protection of young children, who could potentially enter the area without the knowledge of the owner or occupier of a property.
At the start of a tenancy, the owner should make sure the water is clean and chemically balanced and the pool and equipment are serviceable. After that, they generally provide tenants with the necessary tools and equipment for day-to-day maintenance – including vacuums and hoses.
If you own a property in the Northern Territory with a pool or spa, you may require a pool fence or a pool safety barrier that meets certain safety standards.
This includes inflatable and portable pools and spas at houses, units, townhouses and caravans and mobile homes in a caravan park.
As the owner, you’ll need to make sure your pool safety barrier meets all the conditions included on the compliance certificate or acknowledgement notice, including ongoing maintenance and upkeep. You’ll also need to respond promptly to requests for any repairs from your tenants.
If you’re a tenant, you must report any maintenance and safety issues to the property manager or property owner as soon as possible.
If you’d like to find out more about your responsibilities as a tenant or owner, you can find more information on the government website – or get in touch with your property manager.
No matter what state you’re in, if you’re not sure what to do to make sure your pool is safe and ready for swimming – talk to your property manager and find out today.