Building Amendment (Swimming Pool and Spa) Regulations 2019

Property & Development 18 May 2020

How will this impact you as a home owner?

On 1 December 2019 the Victorian Government brought into effect amendments to the swimming pool and spa regulations in Victoria.   These new regulations have been brought in to help save the lives of young children around water.

Previously, home owners were required to comply with the Building Regulations Act 2018 by:

  • all pools and/or spas that have water greater than 30cm must be surrounded by sufficient safety barriers; and
  • ensuring that their pool and/or spa barriers are maintained and with gates and doors remaining closed unless a person is entering or exiting the pool or spa;

To date the legal obligation to comply with these regulations rests with the home owner with trust on individuals that the regulations are being complied with correctly.

On average four (4) children drown per year in Victoria which provides good reason why the Victorian Government decided to review their current Pool and Spa Regulations.

The proposed implementation period will require owners of existing swimming pools and spas to take action by 1 June 2020.

The Building Amendment (Swimming Pool and Spa) Regulations 2019 includes the following:

  • Mandatory requirement for pool and spa owners to register their pools and spas with their municipal council;
  • Pool and spa owners will have their safety barriers inspected on registration and every four (4) years;

The local Councils have stipulated their own specific time frames in which a Certificate of Compliance is required to be issued to them:

City of Greater Geelong

For pools and spas constructed:

o          30 June 1994 or earlier: 30 October 2020

o          between 1 July 1994 and 1 May 2010: 30 April 2021

o          from 1 May 2010: 29 October 2021.

Surf Coast Shire

For pools and spas constructed:

  • on or before 30 June 1994, lodgement by 1 June 2021
  • Built between 1 July 1994 and 1 May 2010, lodgement by 1 June 2022
  • Built on or after 1 May 2010, lodgement by 1 June 2023

Golden Plains Shire

The Golden Plains Shire do not specify specific time frames are simply note that your swimming pool and spa must be registered by 1 June 2020.

How much will it cost you to comply?

The Victorian Building Authority have listed the following fees associated with registering your pool and/or spa:

Pool or spa registration fee – $31.84

A one-off fee payable to the relevant council for the registration of your pool or spa.

Information search fee (if applicable) – $47.24

This fee enables the council to conduct the appropriate searches to determine the date of construction of your pool or spa and any associated building permits, which determines the applicable barrier standard. The information search fee only applies to pools or spas constructed before 1 June 2020.

Failure to register swimming pool or spa within relevant timeframe – up to $1,652.20

The costs associated with obtaining a Compliance Certificate for your pool and/or spa will vary between $350.00-$500.00 plus any rectification required to have your pool and/or spa compliant.

How will this affect you when selling your property?

Even though the new regulation does not affect the Section 32 disclosure requirements when selling your property, as individuals become more aware of the new regulation purchasers will become more vigilant in requesting documentation to ensure any pool and/or spas are compliant before purchasing.  We therefore recommend that vendor’s attend to obtaining their Compliance Certificates prior to marketing their properties to ensure a smooth marketing campaign.

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