Owners, landlords will need to prove swimming pool fences meet government standards

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There will be another piece of paperwork involved in the sale or lease of properties in New South Wales from 29 April, with new laws surrounding swimming pools set to come into force.

From that date all sale contracts and rental applications for residential properties in the state with a swimming pool or spa will have to include information on whether safety barriers meet government standards.

Contracts or applications will have to feature either a Certificate of Compliance or a Certificate of Non-Compliance, which will outline what needs to be improved.

Anybody purchasing a property that comes with a Certificate of Non-Compliance will have 90 days from the time of settlement to bring the property up to standard.

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales president John Cunningham said the decision by the government to grant purchasers 90 days to get their property up to scratch is a welcome step by the government.

“This is a sensible approach given the ongoing issues and delays over the last three years in regard to these important regulations,” Cunningham said.

“It is great to see that amendments have been made to allow these regulations the ability to be successfully implemented and help make our backyards safer.”

The requirement for vendors and landlords to prove that their pools or spas are compliant is part of a wider push to reduce child drownings.

According the NSW Office of Local Government, 1,000 children have required hospital admission as a result of an immersion in a backyard swimming pool over the past 10 years.

In that time, 60 children have drowned, while an additional 70 children have suffered permanent neurological damage.

"While there is no substitute for vigilant adult supervision of children, this change will ensure that new pool owners understand what they need to do to make their pools safe," NSW Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said.

"These statistics highlight the devastating impact on families and the need for property owners to ensure their swimming pool barriers are compliant at all times," Toole said.

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