From April 29 2016 residential tenancy agreements must feature a valid certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate if the owner wants to lease their property.
For owners selling their property, a copy of a valid certificate of compliance, relevant occupation certificate or a valid certificate of non-compliance must be attached to the sales contract. If a certificate of non-compliance is attached, the vendor is in essence transferring the obligation of compliance to the purchaser; who will then have 90 days after settlement to rectify the defects listed.
To obtain a certificate of compliance, the owner must organise an inspection through their local council or an accredited certifier. The certificate of compliance is valid for three years.
While strata-titled properties with more than two lots are exempt from these new requirements around selling and leasing properties with pools, Owners Corporations are still required to register their swimming pool or spa on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
The online registration process is relatively straightforward – you’ll need to inspect your pool using a checklist that’s provided. There are various checklists depending on the type of pool. As an example, pools built before September 1 2008 that are not on the waterfront have such requirements as:
- The pool fence must be at least 1200mm high all the way around measured from the outside of the pool
- The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground is no more than 100mm
- The gate must be self closing and latch by itself from any position
- The gate must open outwards, away from the pool
The statistics relating to children fatalities around swimming pools provide an important justification for the Government’s action on this issue. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “In the past 13 years, 83 children under five years of age have drowned in backyard pools in NSW and a further 80 children have suffered neurological damage as a result of being immersed in a pool.”
At Netstrata, we support any legislation that makes a strata scheme’s common property safer for all. Given that many strata schemes in Sydney have a swimming pool; it is only logical that we’d all want to make, what is a potentially hazardous addition to a strata property, as safe as possible.
While strata owners don’t need an official pool inspection when they want to sell or lease their property, Owners Corporations can request an inspection from a council or a private pool certifier at any time as a precautionary measure to ensure that the pool is maintained to all required safety standards. This will ensure that the chance of harm to children who play on the strata common areas is minimised.
If you have any questions regarding swimming pool safety, please contact your Strata Manager at Netstrata.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has recently announced that the Federal Government will invest $100 million over the next two years into flood mitigation projects. Given the recent floodings, this investment is aimed at reducing flood risk and the subsequent strata managers building insurance premium renewals.
By targeting the flood and natural disaster mitigation measures, The National Insurance Affordability Initiative will finance $50 million per annum for the next two years in hopes of establishing the National Insurance Affordability Council.
The Council will run the national coordination of flood risk management, assisting strata management services. The Council will also make suggestions to the government regarding floods mitigation projects, and will undertake other actions directed at reducing building management insurance premiums in the event of natural disasters.
Beyond reducing private insurance premiums, the government will have the potential to save expenditure on building management across all levels of NSW strata management.
Since 2009, more than $6 billion has been accounted for due to natural disaster recovery, a recent press release stated. “Rather than have taxpayers cross-subsidise insurance premiums for those in areas of high risk, this initiative will identify and supplement the funding of mitigation works that will have a real impact in terms of lowering risk and achieving sustainable reduction of insurance premiums in areas exposed to high risk,” the government adds.
CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), Rob Whelan, labeled the move as a noteworthy step towards financially covering the sustainability of the various flood-prone communities that NSW strata management have been working toward restoring.
The investment “will ensure that at-risk Australian communities will be better protected in the future from the devastating effects of floods,” said Whelan.
The floods experienced in NSW and Queensland due to a knock-on effect from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has resulted in over $661 million in insurance losses. Whelan has noted that over the last ten years, floods have caused around $4.5 billion in insured losses across the country.
The ICA has encouraged the Australian Government Actuary to take on additional studies concerning strata management services pricing across Australia. The aim of this is to deliver a benchmark that will accurately inform policyholders how insurance premiums are directly related to risk.
Netstrata provides high quality strata services to their client schemes across NSW. All classes of properties – from small home unit schemes to high-rise residential and commercial buildings – receive a tailored approach to ensure they’re receiving the best option possible.