Beyond Property Management recently took over management of a property that was non-compliant under pool safety laws in Queensland. We regularly come across examples like this, of why having an expert property management agency looking after your investment property is so very important, and how our role as property managers extends so far beyond just being rent collectors. With increasing legislative compliance and complexity, the recognition that a property managers’ role is to maximise their client’s return but also minimise their exposure to risk becomes more and more important.
So what are the rules for leasing a property with a pool in Queensland?
- Pool safety laws in Queensland apply to pools at houses, townhouses, units, hotels, motels, backpacker hostels, homestay accommodation and caravan parks – but the rules are different when the pool is for tenants’ exclusive use compared to pools that are shared pools.
- An exclusive-use pool is a pool or spa at a house, or one that is contained within one particular unit that is only for the use of the tenants of that one particular unit. A shared pool for instance is a pool at a unit complex which is used by the occupiers of multiple units.
- Pool safety laws in Queensland cover spas and portable pools capable of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more of water and have a volume of more than 2000ltr or a filtration system.
- The laws cover, but are not limited to, the height and strength of pool barriers, non-climbable zones, pool gates, gate-latching requirements and preventing direct access from a building into a pool area.
- Every pool owner is responsible for ensuring their pool complies with pool safety standards – however the pool safety certificate, which certifies compliance, is only required when selling or leasing a property
- A pool safety certificate for a shared pool must be displayed at the main entrance to the premises or at a gate/door accessing the pool, however a non-shared pool does not require the certificate to be displayed on premises.
- A current pool safety certificate must be in place before entering into a lease (including a renewal) for a non-shared pool.
- For a shared pool, a copy of the pool safety certificate must be provided to the tenant prior/with the lease signing or a Form 36 Notice of no pool safety certificate provided – which provided Body Corporate 90 days to obtain a pool safety certificate.
- Occupiers of a property – tenants included – must ensure that gates are kept securely closed at all times and that no climbable objects such as outdoor furniture or pot plants would allow children to access the pool.
- Pool safety certificates are valid for two years from the date of issue for non-shared pools, and one year for shared pools.
- Local governments can audit pools and take enforcement action where non-compliance is found
- Only a pool safety inspector licenced by QBCC can issue a pool safety certificate.
- All regulated pools must be registered with the QBCC
Let’s not let this detract from the fact that swimming pools are fun! But before the pool safety laws were introduced, drowning was one of the leading causes of death in Queensland for children under 5 years of age.
Nothing will ever replace supervision – but effective pool fencing saves lives and the cost for compliance is minimal compared to the consequences of non-compliance.
We hope this information is informative and helps clarify the pool safety laws in Queensland.
We are always open to a chat about this or anything about rental property management Brisbane!