For people willing to take on the maintenance of a swimming pool there is no doubt they bring great pleasure, especially during our Australian summers.

But when you try selling a house with a swimming pool, lack of attention to detail can leave your shivering on the sidelines of your own sale.

Today’s article follows one last week entitled, Buying or selling a house with a pool? Don’t dive in until you’ve read this, and will focus on the four main positions vendors take regarding swimming pools and the need to have a fence that complies with the Development Act 1993, namely:

  1. I already have a certificate of compliance and here it is.
  2. I choose to get a certificate and will make it compliant if it isn’t already.
  3. I choose not to get a certificate, but I warrant that it complies.
  4. I choose not to get a certificate, and I don’t know or care if it complies or not.

I already have a certificate of compliance

In this approach to selling a house with a swimming pool, the Vendor is on firm ground.

They have already arranged a certificate of compliance, so all will be ready at the time of settlement, and the Vendor will not face fines of up to $15,000.

I choose to get a certificate and will make it compliant if it isn’t already

In this situation, it is important that Real Estate agents make it clear in the Contract that the Purchaser will be under no obligation to settle if the Certificate is not provided by the Settlement Date or the Vendor’s Final Due Date, and the actual settlement date may be delayed until the Certificate is provided, at the absolute discretion of the Purchaser.

We advise agents to add clauses to the contract to cover situations in which the Vendor might be unable to meet the deadline.

It is good practice for the due date to be at least one week before settlement to allow for any last minute hold ups.

But be that as it may, if the Contract is stated as above the buyers will be under no obligation to settle until the certificate is produced.

I choose not to get a certificate, but I warrant that it complies

In this situation, the Vendor is guaranteeing that the property’s swimming pool safety fence meets the standards of the Development Act 1993.

The Purchaser is entitled to rely on this warranty which means if it becomes known that the fence is non-compliant, the buyer may attempt to sue the seller for the costs of making it compliant or for damages.

When Vendors become aware of this, they might consider it prudent to get the certificate of compliance through their Council, a consulting engineer or a licenced builder.

I choose not to get a certificate, and I don’t know or care if it complies or not

In this scenario, a Vendor chooses to flagrantly disregard the law and throw caution to the wind.

Enlightened Purchasers are likely to ask about compliance but uninformed buyers might not.

In either case, the Vendor will be at risk of committing an offence if it turns out the swimming pool safety features are non-compliant.

 

If you are planning to buy property with a swimming pool, I hope this will arm you with the right questions to ask.

If you are planning to sell property with a swimming pool please take care and seek advice from your trusted Conveyancer prior to entering into a Contract of Sale.

If you are a real estate agent in South Australia, you are welcome to contact us for our suite of suggested clauses for these four different strokes of disposition among Vendors.