22 November 2021

Summer is fast approaching and if you have a pool at your rental property, it is important to understand your responsibilities for pool safety and maintenance.

All pools, including portable pools, above ground or in-ground pools and spa pools must have a barrier to keep children safe. The full requirements can be found on the Building Performance website(external link) or through your local council.

Tenants, landlords and property managers all have responsibilities and play a part in a safe summer around pools.

What this means for you

Tenants

If you want to install a pool (portable or otherwise) you must request permission from your landlord first. Check your council website for local information on pool safety, find out about your potential liability, and check the barrier requirements before you purchase and put it up.

If you have a pool, you must report any maintenance issues to your landlord as soon as possible, for example, if the latch on the gate isn’t closing properly, or if the cover is broken. You must restrict access and be extra careful until repairs have taken place.

Make sure there is nothing near the pool barrier that children could climb on to get over the fence, and make sure you keep the pool reasonably clean and tidy, including cleaning the pool filters if they are easily accessible.

Landlords, including property managers

The owner/landlord of the rental must make sure the pool and its’ barriers meet compliance requirements during a tenancy. This includes regular inspections by an Independent Qualified Pool Inspector or a Territorial Authority every three years. Check your local Council or trading standards websites for a list of qualified inspectors.

It is recommended you keep all records, such as a current ‘certificate of periodic inspection’ and original building compliance documents.

If you find out that your tenants have installed a pool, even a portable pool, you need to take steps to ensure the tenant restricts access in accordance with legal requirements, or have the pool removed. 

If you are a property manager, make sure you have a clear understanding of the obligations and compliance requirements of pool barriers. Check your local council website for pool area safety checklists and include them in your property inspections. Request copies of compliance documents from the owner such as current ‘certificate of periodic inspection’ and original building compliance documents. Take note of when inspections are due for your properties.

For more information about pools at rental properties, see our website.

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