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How exciting – you have upgraded and bought a house with a swimming pool and spa. But have you considered the recent changes to the law which require property owners to register their pool and spa with their local council by 1 June 2020, have them inspected by an appropriately qualified building inspector and issued with a certificate of compliance?
As the new owner you will be responsible for the costs of the inspection and the cost of any works required to bring the pool or spa into compliance.
Falcone & Adams Lawyers is advising its clients who are considering purchasing a property with a pool or spa to insert a special condition in the contract making the contract conditional upon the vendor registering the pool and spa and producing a certificate of compliance at the settlement.
What if I have already purchased a property with a pool and a spa?
Unfortunately there is no requirement for vendors to disclose in the Vendor Statement whether their pool or spa has a compliance certificate.
In the absence of any misleading conduct you will be responsible for the costs of obtaining a compliance certificate.
But the estate agent told me the pool and spa complied
The Australian Consumer Law provides you with a remedy if you can prove that you have been misled. The difficulty here of course is proving the misleading statement, especially where the estate agent may deny making the statement.
The safest course of action is to consult Falcone & Adams before signing any contract or inserting a special condition in the contract making it conditional upon Falcone & Adams approving the terms of the sale.
The safest course is to consult with a solicitor before signing any contract of sale or inserting a protective special condition.
Article written by Tony McDonough, Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Property Law Specialist