There is no denying that in Queensland, a pool can be a great drawcard to minimise vacancy in your investment property. A pool may even increase the prospective rental return on a property – an attractive drawcard for investors. However, as an investor is it critical to fully understand your legal obligations when it comes to pool safety at your property.
To prevent drowning and serious injury, all pools (and spas) in Queensland must be fenced and registered on the pool safety register. If your pool isn’t registered, you can be fined up to $2,356. Queensland Government legislation allows Brisbane City Council to issue on-the-spot fines for pool fencing not complying with the standards.
- Your pool is fenced
- Pool fences or barriers are well maintained
- Any damage to fences or barriers is fixed immediately.
Tenants are responsible for keeping pool gates closed and ensuring there are no objects that would allow children to access the pool unattended.
A pool safety certificate (valid for two years for a private pool, and one year for a shared pool), issued by a licensed pool safety inspector, is required when selling, buying or leasing a property with a pool.
A lease agreement can’t be renewed if a pool safety certificate is not in place. By law, tenants must vacate at the end of the lease if pool compliancy is not attained by the new lease start date.
When engaging a property manager, ensure they are across pool safety and maintenance obligations for your property. Be sure that an inspection of your pool is part of their regular report. Some things to look out for include:
- Trees and plants growing adjacent to the fence-line of the pool which may allow a child to scale the fence
- Objects placed too close to a pool fence that may allow a child to scale the fence e.g. chairs, pot plants and garden ornaments
- Overgrown grass near the gate that may prevent the gate from closing properly (landlords should consider paving around the entrance to the pool fence)
- Gate latches that are not working properly – the latch hinges and self-closing functionality should be in good working order
- Fence panels that may be loose or damaged that may allow a small child to squeeze through.
For more detailed information on your obligations as the owner of a Queensland property that has a pool, please refer to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) or Brisbane City Council’s Swimming Pool Fencing and Safety Regulations.
Other regulations owners should know about;