You’ve just purchased your new house and all appears to be proceeding smoothly. Your building inspection report did not highlight an array of disastrous issues and the pest inspectors report confirmed that your house was free from termite attack. Even the valuer is impressed with your negotiating skills and your final purchase price. If the house you are purchasing has a swimming pool there will however be one more hurdle to cross. The vendor, in accordance with new pool fencing laws, should provide you with a pool fencing safety certificate. The problem is the pool fencing safety certificates are often not worth the paper they are written on.
As the director of Action Property Inspections, I was one of the first inspectors to complete the new pool fencing course. Despite high hopes within the industry that the new swimming pool fencing legislation would be effective, it appears to be more akin to the disastrous roof insulation scandal. If correctly enforced and managed, the new legislation should significantly help prevent incidences of child immersion or drowning. I am however astounded at how many times I’ve undertaken building inspections on properties that have swimming pools and have subsequently been told by my clients that they have been issued with pool fencing safety certificates despite glaringly obvious faults with the fencing.
It would appear that some pool fence inspectors are clearly incompetent or are simply out to earn a fast buck. One of the concerns for prospective homebuyers is that should a child drown in a swimming pool the pool fence inspector who provided the certificate would be liable, however, the first port of call for a distraught parent having just lost their child would be to sue the home owner. There is no easy solution at this point in time.
Should you have any concerns regarding the compliance of your swimming pool fencing Action Property Inspections would certainly recommend undertaking your own independent evaluation from a different pool fence inspector. We can only hope that the pool fence operators giving certificates on unlawful pools are weeded out of the industry before a drowning occurs. In the meantime homeowners beware!