Pool and spa owners need to have a valid safety certificate lodged with their council (under the Building Act in Victoria, Australia) to avoid severe fines, so it is important that they are aware of these key dates. The registration and safety certificates deadlines are fast approaching, depending on when the pool or spa was constructed. Don’t get caught out with an unregistered, un-certified spa or pool because you could end up being issued with some serious fines.
Who should be aware of the key dates and numbers for swimming pool and spa compliance?
Before we get into the details, it’s important to know that property owners are not the only ones responsible for pool and spa barriers. While pool and spa owners should be aware of these key dates and numbers, real estate agents, property managers, and tenants will also benefit from understanding the key dates, requirements and possible penalties covered in this article.
Key dates for registration and safety certification
All swimming pools and spas must be registered with their local council, and you must pass a safety inspection with a qualified safety inspector. We recently discussed the dates and concerns in detail during a presentation with Rentroll Master, which you can watch here.
While the registration deadline was 1st November 2020, safety certifications are required by upcoming deadlines. Depending on when your pool or spa was built, the cut off date for safety certificates is fast approaching:
- Built before 1994 – Requires certification by 1st November 2021
- Built between 1994-2021 – Requires certification by 1st November 2022
- Built after 2021 – Requires certification by 1st November 2023
It is important to note that Safety Certificates are not evergreen and require renewal every four years. This means that owners and property occupiers are responsible for maintaining pool and spa barriers that adhere to the safety regulations under the Building Act Victoria.
Staying on top of maintenance and repairs is key to ensuring you are prepared for reinspection every four years. Read our recent article on fence and gate repairs so you know what to consider and when a building permit might be necessary.
Fines for swimming pool and spa barrier non-compliance
As with all non-compliance, there are penalties involved when you don’t do the right thing. Water safety is no joke, and the consequences can be devastating, so it’s no wonder that penalty fines for non-compliance are incredibly high.
As of 1st July 2021, the cost per penalty increased by 10%, taking each penalty unit to $181.74, with each fine carrying multiple penalty units.
If you own or occupy a property with a swimming pool or spa, you need to be aware of your responsibilities and the potential penalties:
|147C||Owner to ensure a compliant barrier is in place.||50||$9,087.00|
|147F||Owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to maintain the barrier and gate.||50||$9,087.00|
|147G||Occupier must ensure the barrier and gate is operating properly||50||$9,087.00|
|147H||Occupier must ensure the gates and doors are always closed||50||$9,087.00|
Watch our recent discussion about the key dates and numbers for swimming pool or spa owners to be aware of to avoid fines.
What to do if you haven’t received a Safety Certificate for your pool
In order to receive your Safety Certificate, three types of inspections can occur from here:
- Pre-Compliance inspection – Not compulsory, but highly recommended to avoid failing your Compliance Inspection and potentially hefty fines. Pool Barrier Services can conduct a Pre-Compliance inspection for you.
- Compliance Inspection – Compulsory to receive your Safety Certificate.
- Re-inspection – If you fail your Compliance Inspection, you will be issued with an Improvement Notice, and you will need to book a re-inspection within the allocated time frame. There are additional fees involved with re-inspection.
Did you know:
- 90% of pool and spa barriers fail their first inspection? This makes a pre-compliance inspection critical.
- If you fail your official Compliance Inspection, you will be issued with an Improvement Notice and given 7-60 days to make necessary changes to your barrier and book a reinspection.
- It is not the responsibility of the Safety Inspector to help you make necessary changes to your barrier and gate, which is why we recommend booking a Pre-Compliance inspection with us.
Why book a pre-compliance inspection if it’s not compulsory?
As mentioned above, most swimming pool and spa barriers and gates do not pass their first inspection. When you book a pre-compliance inspection with Pool Barrier Services, you are preparing yourself to pass the Compliance Inspection and minimise your risk of receiving a fine.
Our inspection will result in a report that is not bound by the Building Act, but it will highlight the areas that still need improvement to pass your inspection. We also have a network of partners who can help make the repairs and changes needed. If you do not pass our inspection, you are not given a tight deadline to make the changes, though we highly recommend you make them as soon as possible.
A pre-compliance inspection will ensure you are equipped with the knowledge and contacts to prepare your barrier and gate for the official Safety Compliance inspection, substantially increasing your likelihood of passing and receiving your Safety Certificate.
Discover some common mistakes that cost pool owners money, plus our compliance guarantee here.
Take action today
If you have a pool or spa that isn’t certified, we strongly recommend that you start the process immediately to avoid substantial fines. Contact us to get the ball rolling and make sure you are making the right moves to ensure water safety on your property.