A building inspector is urging property managers to make sure rental properties with swimming pools comply with their state's regulations.
Managing director of H&K Ryan Building Inspectors Howard Ryan told Residential Property Manager the biggest problem he is seeing was pool fences that did not comply with relevant Australian standards.
Another issue was people being negligent with pool fences.
“What people are doing is they’re leaving pool gates open to let their pets have a swim or have a drink,” he said.
“As a consequence, it creates a common occurrence between a lot of people because they might put an ocky strap to leave the gate open, or a piece of rope, a chair or a pot plant alongside the poolside fence, therefore creating an invitation for people to come in and out of the pool area. I’m seeing it more and more often.”
According to Mr Ryan, 98 per cent of the inspections he had done had failed to have pools that were compliant with safety standards.
“This is why children are dying. Something has to be done about it. It’s not just a matter of educating the property inspector, it’s government, the general public, the real estate agent, and the consumer – the homeowner," he said.
He added that although the government had implemented a rule requiring pool owners to register their swimming pool, the intent was to shift the indemnity away from them and back to the homeowner.
“People are registering their swimming pools online based on an incomplete checklist they see there, so they’re registering swimming pools and thinking it’s all okay,” he said.
“Next year, people who sell, rent or lease a home have to have a compliant certificate.
“The only people who can provide a compliance certificate is local government, local council and the principal certifying authority, but they’re underresourced and they don’t have the knowledge or the capacity to do so, so there’s going to be a real problem.”
Mr Ryan said there needed to be more stringent regulation to prove that every pool fence in New South Wales complies with the standards and is definitely not going to allow a child to enter.
He also called on property managers to make sure they guaranteed the confidence of the person providing the compliance certificate, and that they held the right liability and accreditation to prove they were capable of identifying the non-compliant issues.