Is your swimming pool or spa registered?

Swimming pools and spas have become increasingly popular additions to residential properties in Victoria. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that the pool or spa is registered and complies with safety standards, as Property Law Accredited Specialist Andre Ong explains.


As the hot summer months approach, more and more Victorians will be considering installing swimming pools and spas in their homes as an enjoyable and inclusive way to cool down with family and friends. However, not all property owners might be aware of the current laws regarding pool and spa registration and barrier compliance.  In this article, we explain some of the recent changes that property owners must pay attention to – or risk heavy fines!

What are the current laws?

On 1 December 2019, the State Government introduced mandatory pool and spa registration requirements for all owners of land in Victoria where a swimming pool or spa is located. Owners of residential properties with a pool or spa must register, inspect and comply with barrier safety standards set out in the legislation.[1] These requirements apply to all permanent and relocatable (temporary) swimming pools and spas that contain water greater than 30cm in depth, with some minor exceptions.

Do the laws apply to you?

1. Whether the permanent or relocatable swimming pool or spa belongs in either:

  • a domestic or residential building – generally, this includes your typical house, but also includes terrace houses and townhouses;
  • a domestic apartment building;
  • any building other than the above that provides long-term or temporary accommodation for a number of unrelated persons – like hotels, motels, hostels, student accommodation;.
  • any non-habitable structures – such as sheds, carports and private garages; or
  • a single domestic dwelling within a non-residential building– for example, a caretaker’s residence within a school or other facility.

2. Whether the permanent or relocatable swimming pool or spa has the capacity to contain water to a depth greater than 30cm.

If both these requirements apply, then you must comply with the above requirements.

Pools and spas that were completed prior to 1 November 2020 were required to comply by 1 November2020 or within 30 days after the date of issue of the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection (whichever was the later).

How to register a permanent swimming pool or spa?

For property owners looking to construct a new permanent swimming pool or spa this summer, you must apply to your relevant Council for registration of the swimming pool or spa within 30 days after the date on which you receive the occupancy permit or certificate of final.  In addition, you must also lodge a certificate of barrier safety compliance issued by the relevant building surveyor with the relevant Council.  This is to ensure that the barrier surrounding your pool or spa meets the relevant safety standards.

How to register a relocatable (temporary) swimming pool or spa?

Property owners who have a relocatable pool or spa on their land must apply to register the pool or spa with the relevant Council. However, different rules apply for different types of relocatable pools and spas:

1. For inflatable pools and spas that only need air to be erected, do not have multiple components (ie, pump, frame, ladder) and are not capable of containing water greater than 30cm, then no barrier or registration is needed.

2. If the relocatable swimming pool or spa is made up of multiple components (ie, a pump, frame or ladder) and/or remains erected for less than three (3) days in a row:

  • Install a compliant safety barrier (a building permit is not required

3. If the relocatable swimming pool or spa is made up of multiple components (ie, a pump, frame or ladder) and/or remains erected for three (3) or more days in a row:

  • Install a compliant safety barrier (a building permit is required);
  • Register the pool or spa with Council by the fourth day;
  • Organise an inspection by a registered building inspector or building surveyor to determine if the relocatable safety barrier is compliant; and
  • Lodge the certificate of barrier compliance within 30 days from the date of registration.

How Sharrock Pitman Legal can assist?

Getting a new swimming pool or spa is an exciting experience, and the last thing that you want to worry about is not properly registering it and facing a fine. So, it is important to be fully aware of your registration, inspection and compliance obligations as you are in the process of constructing it.

If you have any queries about your obligations, or about any infringement notice you may have received, please contact our Property Law team for advice.

1.     Building Amendment (Swimming Pool and Spa) Regulations 2019 (Vic)

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

For further information contact  
Andre Ong

Andre is a Principal of Sharrock Pitman Legal.

He heads our Property Law Group and is an Accredited Specialist in Property Law (accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria).  He also deals with Commercial Law. For further information, contact Andre Ong on his direct line (03) 8561 3317.


For fifty years Sharrock Pitman Legal has made a significant and long term contribution to meeting the legal needs of business owners and residents in the City of Monash and greater Melbourne area.

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