At the eleventh hour, the NSW Office of Local Government (OLG) delayed the introduction of its pool compliance regime which requires pool owners to get certificates for their swimming pools prior to sale or lease of the property.
The requirement will not commence until April 29, 2015 – one full year later than originally planned.
The OLG says the poor state of residential swimming pools was one reason for the postponement, with some councils reporting a 99 per cent failure rate and a 76 per cent failure rate for second inspections, as was lobbying from the real estate industry concerned over the likelihood of extreme delays for the sale and lease of properties.
A spokesperson for the OLG said that council officer feedback indicates that high inspection failure rates mean it is not uncommon for it to take three months from first inspection to the issuing of a compliance certificate.
This is in part due to the large number of pools failing to meet the requirements, and the extensive work needed to be done to rectify the deficiencies. Pool owners are reportedly having trouble getting the repairs done in a timely fashion.
Also, it has long been thought there would be too few inspectors to carry out the work and the OLG has conceded this is the case by directing the Building Professionals Board to instigate a new category of private certifier to handle the shortfall in inspections.
The new category will enable suitably qualified people to complete a course and offer an inspection service. This will complement council inspections and increase the number of people who can conduct swimming pool inspections.
The OLG says this should be ready in the near future. The Alliance believes pool builders will – and technicians should – be included on the list.
Alliance president Rob Guthrie says they lobbied the government over the lack of qualified inspectors and the shortage of trades, and says they have finally listened.
“It is likely that the new category [of private certifier] will include council officers, private certifiers, builders and pool builders,” he says.