Tracey Joynson

Who pays to make pool secure?

BILL Lyons of Bill Lyons Solicitors Caloundra shares his expertise and knowledge to answer another legal question.

This week we ponder: I am buying a house with a pool. Whose responsibility is it to make sure the pool fence is legal? Mine or the seller's?

It is crucial that this issue is addressed before you sign the contract.

Who bears the costs of making certain that the pool enclosure meets the required standard and the cost of obtaining the pool safety certificate, is something that has to be negotiated and agreed on in the contract.

By far the cleanest approach is for the seller to agree by way of a special condition in the contract to do all that is necessary to provide a safety certificate to the buyer by settlement.

The other approach is for the contract to be subject to the buyer investigating the costs of obtaining the certificate and then electing whether to terminate the contract or proceed in the knowledge that the cost will be the buyer's responsibility.

If the buyer elects to take on that responsibility, then he or she must obtain the certificate within 90 days of settlement.

If the buyer fails to meet that deadline then he or she commits an offence and can be liable to substantial penalties and exposure to liability if someone is injured.

The costs of bringing the pool enclosure up to the required standard plus the cost of obtaining a certificate can be significant, so it is important that this issue is considered and you know your exact position before you sign the contract.

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