24 Feb Agents Survival Series – Vol 2B/2016
Don’t let the Pool Safety Inspection Date sink your deal
We’re seeing loads of contracts with either the wrong date or no date at all. Here’s a quick refresher on when it’s necessary, and what can happen if dates are missing, or wrong
When do you need to complete it?
- there’s a pool; and
- there’s no current pool safety certificate.
When you don’t need to worry about it?
When the vendor’s already got a current pool safety certificate, or … when there’s no pool …
What date do you insert in the Reference Schedule?
In the Pool Safety Inspection Date, insert the date by which the buyer’s inspector should have checked the pool before settlement.
The Pool Safety Inspection Date, is the date you insert in the contract, if you forget to insert it, it’s the earlier of:
- the date of any pest / building report; or
- if there is no building and pest condition, 2 working days before settlement.
What date don’t you insert?
The one we see most (and it’s wrong) is the date on the vendor’s pool safety certificate.
What’s the buyer allowed to do if the date applies?
Get the inspection done before the Pool Safety Inspection Date to see what has to be done to have a pool safety Certificate issue.
What happens after the inspection?
If no pool safety certificate issues by the Pool Safety Inspection Date the buyer can either:
- terminate and get his deposit back, or
- waive his rights and move on to settlement.
(we encourage parties to negotiate a fix on a without prejudice basis before settlement).
Common Error 1
The wrong date is inserted (eg the date of the existing Pool Safety Certificate is inserted as the inspection date)
The fall out
- If the certificate hasn’t expired, then beyond it being plain wrong (you can’t have an inspection date before the contract was signed), you’ve probably dodged a bullet.
- If the certificate has expired – potential problem because the buyer can now engage a pool safety inspector to inspect prior to the Pool Safety Inspection Date, which is now no later than 2 working days before settlement.
Your seller and you sweat through:
- the cooling off – check
- the finance date, and a couple of other curly special conditions – check
The seller’s happier (finally), and starts packing up, goes ahead and signs up on the deal of a lifetime in Sydney. Buyer gets cold feet, and her exceedingly clever lawyers (PD Law) suggest she does a pool safety inspection in the week leading up to settlement. The fence doesn’t comply, she walks, takes her deposit back and buys a house down the road, using another agent!
The Seller is holding on line 3 for you. Wants to talk…
Common Error 2
No date is inserted at all
The fall out
- If the Pool is compliant, probably benign again. Maybe a sleepless night or two, but short of a tyrannical safety inspector the pool will comply.
- If the pool isn’t compliant, same scenario as above, and the buyer has another potential out.
So, to avoid a case of the sweats, when this clause applies just think of the date like finance, pest and building inspection dates, not a past date.
Cheers, until next time, from the team at PD Law