What is a Pool Safety Certificate?
A pool safety certificate is mandatory in Queensland, and can only be issued by a pool safety inspector or a building inspector. If you are renting, leasing, selling or have a shared pool you will need a pool certificate issued The safety inspection process is carried out by an inspector who is licensed by the government.
Why A Pool Safety Certificate Is Important
Also known as Form 23, pool certificates play a crucial role when selling, leasing, or entering into an accommodation arrangement for a property that has a pool. By law, certificates for shared pools are valid for a period of one year while for non-shared pools; the validity extends to two years. It does not matter how many times the property with a certified pool is re-leased or re-sold over this period; the certificate still remains in force.
When the pool safety certificate finally expires, the property owner is not required to immediately get another certificate unless he wants to lease or sell the property.
In the event the pool is shared, the body corporate or the owner in charge is supposed to obtain the pool certificate and avail it to all unit owners. One certificate is enough and covers all the unit owners and as such there is no need to obtain separate pool certificates for the same pool facility.
Where a pool safety certificate is issued and the local government has every reason to believe the certified pool violates the pool safety standard, it has the authority to cancel the certificate. Following the cancellation, the property owner or body corporate is supposed to get another certificate when the property is being leased or sold.
Building Certificates, Certificates of Classification and Pool Safety Certificates
When a property undergoes major pool alterations or has a new pool is constructed, the building certifier will issue the pool owner with Form 17 which is the final inspection certificate. This certificate can take the place of a pool fence certificate when the owner is leasing or selling the property.
For a building that has a pool or land upon which a regulated swimming pool is situated, the owner of the property will be issued with a certificate of classification. This certificate just like the Form 17, can serve as a safety certificate for the same period that is one year for public pools and two years for private pools.
The validity of the certificate of classification and building certificate depends on whether they were issued in line with the current pool safety standard. Where the certificates were issued against the older pool safety standard that was in force before 1st December, 2009, they cannot be used in place of a pool certificate and thus you will be required to obtain a separate pool certificate.
The building certifiers have up to 5 business days following the issuance of a final inspection certificate for a pool to avail the details of the certificate to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission in the approved manner so that they may be entered in the pool safety register.
Conformity and Non-Conformity of Swimming Pools
The pool safety certificate is issued by law as an indication that the particular pool conforms with the safety standard. The
certificate has a unique identification number and the pool safety inspector is supposed to ensure the certificate is entered in the pool safety register. The following grounds cannot be used by the inspector as reason not to issue a pool certificate.
• Lack of development approval for the swimming pool or barriers
• Incompliance of the pool or its barriers with the development approval
• Failure of the pool owner to pay the inspection fee or because of a contractual dispute
In the event of non-conformity meaning the inspector is not satisfied with the compliance status of the pool with respect to the safety standard, the pool owner will be used with a separate Form 26 within a period of two business days after the inspection. This form is known as the pool safety nonconformity notice and it clearly states the areas where the pool doesn’t comply and what it is supposed to be done to gain compliance. If the owner feels aggrieved; he may go ahead and appeal the decision of the pool inspector to a despite resolution committee. The appeal has to be made within 20 business days following the issuance of Form 26.
It is for your own convenience and business interest as the landlord, body corporate, or real estate agent to have your pool inspected and a pool safety certificate issued.