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01 December 2009

Buying a property with a pool - New legislation

If you're buying a property with a pool, there a few things to check. There are the core elements of structural integrity, fencing, water efficiency, surrounding trees, condition of the pump and filter. But new state legislation should draw your attention to a few additional issues.

As of 1 December, changes to Queensland regulations will mean builders will need to have new pools inspected when they are constructed. Next year, pool owners will need an inspection whenever a property is sold or leased.

While new home owners will also be required to ensure there is a strict non-climbable zone (NCZ) next to or above the family pool, existing pools will have until 2011 to ensure they are compliant with the new laws. At that point, pool owners will be required to order an inspection when selling their property. If the fence doesn't comply, the owners will be required to make it comply within 20 days.

Of course, this may not be an issue, but check with your building and pest inspector to see if there will be any work needed to comply with the legislation.

As you can see, there's a period where the introduction of this legislation can provide a trap for buyers. When buying a property, if the property wasn't constructed to comply with the current legislation, check to ensure there isn't any work required to comply with the NCZ. Some obstacles or fencing issues could be costly to remove or rectify.

If in Queensland, check your pool against this Pool safety checklist to see how yours compares.

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