As the summer heat approaches, prioritising swimming safety takes centre stage for individuals who own strata apartments or townhouses, including investors.
Given the expected rise in temperatures this year, ensuring pool safety has become increasingly paramount. To tackle this challenge, it is imperative that body corporates implement thorough swimming pool safety practices.
But before we dive into the specifics of pool safety protocols, let's explain where responsibilities for the body corporate end or the individual owners and investors begin.
For starters, body corporates are responsible for various aspects of maintenance and repairs. This includes garage doors and associated fittings, such as springs, gears, and other mechanisms. They also oversee the upkeep of common property, including gardens, lawns, and shared facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, and barbeque areas. Additionally, body corporates manage the maintenance of the building's structure, encompassing the foundations, roofing, and essential supporting framework such as load-bearing walls.
Individual owners, including landlords are generally accountable for maintaining doors and windows leading onto a balcony from their property. They must also look after the interior of their property, including all fixtures and fittings within the apartment or townhouse. Additionally, they must take care of unit-specific utilities, such as pipes, cables, wires, drains, plant, and equipment exclusively servicing their unit or apartment. They are also usually responsible for pest control within their property.
Pool safety is a community effort
Drowning in swimming pools is a significant cause of preventable death in children under five*. Therefore, pool owners are required by law to maintain the safety of their pool area. Moreover, all pool owners, including landlords, must be aware of the laws.
To this end, landlords and their tenants must actively identify and address potential hazards, such as faulty gates, to ensure a safe pool environment. For example, pool gates must close securely after being opened and remain locked. This involves checking the latch and hinge for suitable functionality.
Moreover, property owners looking to rent or sell a property with a pool or spa bear extra responsibilities depending on your state or territory. For example, in NSW, as part of the tenancy agreement or sales contract, documents such as a pool registration certificate, a valid swimming pool compliance certificate, and an occupation certificate must be provided to the tenant.
For more information about your responsibilities as a landlord, talk to your Raine & Horne Property Manager.