Pools and Penalties
The changes in 2016
The Queensland Government introduced a number of Pool Safety requirements in 2010. While it was commonly known within the Real Estate Industry that the ‘grace period’ for the provisions introduced expired in late 2015, the practical implications for Sellers who have not complied with these requirements is less clear.
As it stands, pool owners who do not have a compliant pools face up to 165 Penalty Units, which currently equates to $20,113.50. There are also additional penalties which may apply which relate to a failure to register a pool with the QBCC and complaints. This applies whether the owner is listing the property for sale or not and as such poses significant financial risks for pool owners.
Notwithstanding the above changes, the most recent twelfth edition of the REIQ Contract for House and Residential Land (Contract) was published in July 2016 and unfortunately has not been amended to specifically take into account the legislative changes.
Under Clause 4.2 of the Contract where no pool safety certificate has been issued the contract becomes conditional upon the Seller obtaining the Pool Safety Certificate and gives the Buyer the opportunity to terminate the contract if this is not provided.
It is likely that this right is going to be increasingly utilised as, despite the warning currently noted on the Contract,Buyers no longer have the benefit of the 90 day post-settlement grace period in which to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate.
While it would be of great use if the next edition of the REIQ Standard contract addresses these issues more clearly, our recommendation is that each property owner with a pool obtain the necessary compliance certificates prior to entering into a contract for sale.
For more information on pool safety regulations, or any other matters concerning property, contact us at email@example.com or call 07 3667 8966. We’d be happy to help with your inquiry.