Body corporates have a duty and a legal responsibility to the unit owners thanks to the Queensland pool safety regulations. Whether a unit owner is selling or leasing a property, the body corporates have a role to play in the process to ensure the pool regulations and the pertaining documents are handled in the manner prescribed by law.
Whenever one of the lot owners opts to sell or enter into a rental contractual agreement with an existing or new tenant, the pool safety regulations for body corporates require that the body corporate arrange a pool safety inspection. Without a safety certificate for the shared pool, there will be a need for complete disclosure in the sale or lease documentation as prescribed by the government. At times this may expose you to risks of penalties and fines.
As body corporates, you should also be aware that you carry liability risks in the event a child drowns or suffers submersion injuries and the pool in question is not in compliance with the safety standards. All shared pools are required by law to have an inspection completed every year and a pool safety certificate issued.
The pool safety standard applies to pools that are associated with town houses, hotels, units, backpacker hostels, caravan parks, homestay accommodation, and motels.
As a body corporate, you should understand that a sale contract has three phases; before entering into a contractual agreement, before the settlement, and after the settlement. Each of these phases has legal implications as far as pool safety regulations are concerned.
Before getting into a contract, the lot or unit seller must give the prospect or purchaser a safety certificate if it exists. As the body corporate, you should ensure that a valid pool certificate is available before the seller goes into a sale contract. However, if the certificate is not available, the buyer should be given a Form 36.
This form simply brings the buyer up to speed with the fact that the pool to the property he or she is about to purchase may not be in compliance with the safety standard as required by law. It also goes ahead to inform them of the steps to be taken for compliance to be attained. This form basically gives the buyer the benefit of information that can help them to make a decision concerning the purchase.
Before the settlement, the seller must give the buyer a certificate or the Form 36. At this point, the body corporate must also see to it that they get a copy of the Form 36 and another copy is sent to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
After the settlement, the buyer has a 90-day window to be in compliance with the safety standard. Because this duration is set by the law, no legal provision can extend it. Where the sale is through an auction, the seller must give the buyer the Pool Safety Certificate before settlement. In the event you don’t have a valid certificate in place as the body corporate, then the seller is to give the prospective buyer’s, real estate agents or auctioneers the Form 36.
Just as in the sale of a property that has a shared pool, the procedure is almost similar in leasing. The unit owner in the case of leasing has to ensure there is an effective safety certificate before renewing or entering into an accommodation or lease agreement. Except for short term accommodation, the unit owner must give the tenant or the occupier a copy of the safety certificate. Where the pool certificate is not available, the owner should give the incoming tenant a Form 36. As the body corporate, you should also get a copy of the certificate and another copy sent to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
We understand the weight of your responsibility as body corporates and the need to keep in check with the legal obligations. It’s on this premise that we offer to expedite your pool barrier inspection and ensure that you have a compliance certificate so that you can avoid the risks and the stress of penalty and fines that come with incompliance.
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