It seems that pool safety is not only an issue for swimmers but also for buyers and sellers of real estate in South Australia.
I have written before about pool safety certification but a recent case where we had to help a client who had gotten into difficulty has prompted me to share an update.
My focus today is the fact that just like personal flotation devices, not all certifiers are the same.
Diving into pool safety certification in South Australia
If you are selling a house with a swimming pool or spa on your property, you have an obligation to ensure it meets safety standards upon the sale of the property.
A certificate of compliance ready at the time of settlement is all that might stand between the Vendor and a fine of up to $15,000.
If you’d like to get more background, I have produced one that covers the four main positions vendors take regarding swimming pools and the need to have a fence that complies with the Development Act 1993.
In that article, you will also find links to further background information on this quite complex subject.
What happens when the certificate is not a ‘proper’ certificate?
We recently had to pull all hands on deck to help a client who came up against an unsound certificate that put the settlement at risk.
It was a stressful time for all parties involved and the cause was an inexperienced certifier signing off on a pool that did not meet requirements.
While there is no excuse for a certifier to erroneously pass an unsafe pool, it is the case that regulations around pool safety compliance are confusing, as I explored here: The water is still murky when selling houses with swimming pools in SA.
How to stay safe with pool safety certification
Following recent meetings with Attorney General John Rau, the Real Estate Institute of South Australia was advised that only Private Certifiers who possess the appropriate qualifications, experience and professional indemnity insurance to perform safety certification should be trusted with this task.
Private Certifiers are accredited by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors and must possess a minimum of 8 years’ experience before they can become registered.
It is also worth noting that some certifiers have a condition C against their accreditation, which means they are not eligible for this task.
We are working closely with our clients and real estate agents to make sure this message is shared but in the meantime, you might like to use this government list to choose a certifier ahead of your property listing: Private Certifiers in South Australia.
And, once again, having that solid relationship with your conveyancer can pay dividends because we have protocols in place to make clients aware of these regulations ahead of time.