Consumer News

Is your pool safe?

28 April 2016

By John Cunningham – REINSW President

After a long wait the new laws for swimming pools finally began on Friday 29 April, and will affect almost everyone selling or leasing their home which has a swimming pool or spa.

These laws have been introduced to save lives due to the shocking number of deaths in backyard pools across NSW.

As a result anyone with a swimming pool or spa pool needs to be aware of these new safety regulations which are now compulsory for anyone selling or leasing their property.

The new laws mean that properties in NSW with a swimming pool or spa pool cannot be sold or leased without a valid certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate (or certificate of non-compliance with respect to a sale), unless exempted.

This requirement also applies to strata or community schemes with two lots or less. However a scheme with three or more lots is exempt.

The first step towards compliance is to register your pool on the NSW Pool register which can be done online at

Once registered you will need to approach either your local council or an accredited certifier to inspect your pool for a compliance check. The alarming thing about this process is that some certifiers have found that 95% of pools inspected have been non-compliant, and most pool owners were unaware.

There are over 360,000 swimming pools in NSW, so it is scary to think of how many lives are at risk with that level of non-compliance.

One of the main challenges for pool owners in NSW is the undulating land we live on and the challenges it provides in constructing compliant pool enclosures. It is critical to get the latest information to ensure that trees, rock outcrops, neighbouring properties etc. are not having an impact on your pool safety.

I would encourage all pool owners across NSW to get moving on this even if they are not thinking of selling or leasing their property. NSW councils can carry out spot checks on pools at any time, so get safe now and avoid your pool being the scene of a tragedy when it can be avoided.