With the WA border about to open up, and our families spending more time at home during the Summer months as a direct result, owning a pool certainly has its advantages! If you’re of the opinion that a house is not a home without a pool, and you’re about to sell up; this blog post outlines what you need to know about selling a home with a pool. After all, a swimming pool or spa can be a significant draw-card and unique point of difference when it comes to selling your home.
Swimming pools must be compliant and fenced correctly
Western Australian laws mandate the installation of safety barriers to enclose underground pools, portable pools and spas deeper than 300mm. This compliance prevents downing deaths and injury to children.
The Real Estate and Business Agents and Sales Representatives Code of Conduct 2016 determines that real estate agents must ensure all material facts are ascertained and communicated to affected persons. Furthermore, real estate agents must check that barriers around any pool, portable pool or spa on a property they are selling or leasing comply to code prior to settlement. Any suspected non-compliance issues must be reported to the seller of the property in order to protect life, otherwise substantial fines could be issued to the seller.
If selling a home with a pool, you are responsible to ensure compliance
As of December 17, 2006 if you are selling a home with a pool or spa, it is your responsibility to make sure it is up to code before settlement.
What constitutes a barrier?
A purpose built fence, wall, gate, window or door set. A local council official will visit once every four years to ensure compliance.
The process for real estate agents
For properties being sold, especially via a home open, the agent must enquire with the seller about whether the barriers comply with safety regulations:
- Can a compliance certificate be provided?
- When was the last compliance inspection carried out by a local council official? As mentioned abover, this should be done every 4 years
- Have there been changes to boundary fencing since the last inspection?
- Are purpose built barrier windows capable of being opened more than 100mm without the use of a hand tool?
- Is a barrier door self-closing?
Other facts that sellers need to know
If you’re selling your home with a pool, there are a few things you need to know before putting it on the market.
Fences and gates used as a pool barrier must be:
- At least 1200mm high
- Free from climbable objects within a 1200mm span from the top of the fence
- Consistently spaced with gaps of 100mm or less
If using a door as your pool barrier it must be:
- Self-closing and self-latching
- Latched at least 1500mm from the ground and 1400mm above any climbable part of the door
- Doors should open away from the pool
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
States and councils can differ. Breaches of the Building Regulations 2012 for non-compliant swimming pool barriers may result in:
- $100 penalty by your local council as a first warning
- $200 as a second warning
- Failure to comply after a second warning may result in legal proceedings, a $5000 penalty and an additional daily penalty of $250 until the barrier is up to code
Non-compliance and property settlement
If the barrier does not comply at the time of O&A, the seller will be in breach of regulations, which may cause problems with settlement. Penalties may apply and settlement may be delay, resulting in the transaction falling through.
3 key things to remember when selling a home with a pool
- All outdoor pools and spas need to be fenced off with compliant barriers
- The seller must make sure all pool and spa barriers are compliant before putting the property on the market
- As a homeowner with a pool or spa, you must organise with your local council to have barriers inspected by an official, and subsequent compliance certification should be provided in order to reassure potential buyers
Contact us if you have any questions
If you’re putting your house on the market, knowing your legal responsibilities and the conditions of sale will enable a straightforward settlement. Reach out to Moasic Settlements if you have any questions.