The New Pool Safety Laws and the Body Corporate Pool

Drowning is the main cause of death in children under the age of four in Queensland. New pool safety laws were enforced on Body Corporate and Community Title Schemes, effective from 1 December 2010. The news laws, which involve the installation of effective fences and barriers, are intended to keep children safe and further reduce the number of fatal drownings among children.

How the Law Applies to Body Corporate Pools

There are different rules for pools that are shared and those that are not shared. Non-shared pools are those that are used only by residents of one dwelling, such as a private home or private spa on a unit balcony. A shared pool is one that is used by residents of two or more dwellings, such as a body corporate pool.

For shared pools, a pool inspection is required if one of the lot owners decides to sell a unit or one of the lot owners signs a tenancy agreement with a new or existing tenant. The lot owner will not be able to finalise the sale of a unit without a Certificate of Compliance, or lease a unit to tenants without paying fines or penalties. If there is no valid certificate, the owner is required to furnish a Notice of No Pool Safety Certificate to the future tenant, to the body corporate and to the Department of Housing and Public Works before signing a lease. The pool owner, typically the body corporate, is given 90 days to secure a pool safety certificate.

Have your Pool Inspected by Experts

A valid pool safety certificate is needed before a property with a pool can be leased or sold. The certificate is issued by licensed pool safety inspectors.

A good inspection company will provide you with a checklist of things you need to do to prepare for an inspection. Double-check the items included in the list so that the chance of non-compliance is reduced. The pool inspection company will also register the pool for you. The pool safety register is a database of all pools that have valid safety certificates. All pools are required to be listed in the official pool safety register.

The inspection and assessment will focus mainly on the fences and gates to determine if they meet safety standards. The inspectors will also inspect related areas in the pool including trees, retaining walls, panels, pavements, and any other areas. If the pool is in compliance, a certificate will be used within two business days.

In the event of non-compliance, the inspectors will work with you until your pool is deemed safe. The inspectors can assist and offer advice as to how you should proceed with the renovation process for your pool.