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Renting Out a Property With a Pool

By Sophie Anderson

Renting out a Property with a pool included can sometimes be a complicated process. Although you may have a Property Manager looking after much of this for you, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how it works to be able to make good financial and Risk Management decisions if a problem arises. When renting out or considering buying an Investment Property with a pool, you will need to take into account the extra costs that generally come with a pool. There will be additional maintenance costs (especially in the warmer months), pool safety requirements, as well as the extra rental income you would get as a result of the pool being included. Planning ahead when purchasing an Investment Property is very important, and we recommend doing a mini budget on these items to make sure you can evaluate the costs and benefits accordingly.

On a side note to this, it is also a good idea to plan how the pool will be maintained during the Tenancy as well. Generally speaking, there are a number of options that can be up for negotiation with Tenants, including having them pay for the pool chemicals, professional pool maintenance or both. You can include the maintenance with the rent in full, or you can also simply require Tenants to look after it themselves. Having Tenants looking after the pool themselves without professional help can be a risky decision – as some Tenants may not maintain the pool as needed, leading to a higher risk of wear and tear on the pool and equipment. We would recommend only considering this option with tenants who have previous experience in looking after a pool.

If the pool is a shared pool within a unit or housing complex, then these pool obligations are largely upon the Body Corporate to ensure the pool complies with Legislation – and the costs would not be as relevant (other than as part of your Body Corporate levies). If the pool is an exclusive pool for your property, there are however many things to consider to make sure it complies with your State Legislation.

For a Property Owner in Queensland or New South Wales, there are strict guidelines for Pool Compliance e.g. pool fencing, CPR signage, removing climbable obstructions etc. There is also a requirement to have a current Pool Safety Certificate in place when renting a property with a pool. To obtain this, you will need to employ the services of a professional Pool Safety Inspector who will evaluate your pool area, officially note any repairs or modifications needed to make it compliant (if any) so they can be rectified, and then issue the Certificate once the pool area complies. In Victoria there are similar pool safety requirements of the pool area, however there is no requirement for a Certificate to be issued before renting a property.

If you would like to find out more, visit the website of your applicable State pool regulatory body included below:

QLD – Department of Housing and Public Works http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/BuildingPlumbing/PoolSafety/PoolSafetyLaws/Pages/default.aspx

NSW – Fair Trading New South Wales http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/consumers/product_and_service_safety/pool_safety/swimming_pools.page

VIC – Victorian Building Authority http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumer-resources/building/pages/swimming-pools

Other States – Refer to the relevant Authority for information in your State and pool safety Laws affecting your property.

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