Pool and spa registration requirements
On 1 December 2019, new laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety came into effect in Victoria. It is now mandatory for owners of land where a swimming pool or spa is located to register their pool or spa with the relevant council.
The new laws apply to swimming pools and spas that are capable of holding more than 300mm (30cm) of water. This includes permanent pools, above ground pools, indoor pools, hot tubs, bathing or wading pools and some relocatable pools.
Relocatable pools that do not consist of multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.
Pool and spa owners are now also required to obtain and lodge compliance certificates for their safety barriers. See Safety barrier regulations for more information.
Registering your pool or spa
If you are the owner of land on which a pool or spa is located, you must register your pool and spa with the relevant council. Contact the council or check their website for more information on how to register your pool or spa, including the fees payable. You will be required to complete a registration form and pay the registration fee (and in some cases, an information search fee).
Deadlines for registration
The relevant dates for the registration of your pool or spa are outlined in the tables below.
Permanent pool or spa
Final date for lodging application for registration
Construction of pool or spa was completed before 1 June 2020
The later of:
Construction commenced before 1 June 2020 but completed after 1 June 2020
30 days after the date of issue of the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection
You are required to lodge the certificate of barrier compliance at the same time as your registration application.
Pool will be constructed after 1 June 2020.
This means that the building permit for the pool or spa was issued:
30 days after you receive the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection for the pool and spa
You must lodge the certificate of barrier compliance at the same time as your registration application.
Relocatable pool or spa
Final date for lodging application for registration
If the relocatable pool or spa was erected before 1 June 2020 and remains erected for at least 3 consecutive days immediately before 1 June 2020
By 4 June 2020
Erected on or after 1 June 2020 for 3 consecutive days
On the fourth day after the pool is erected
Fees and penalties
|Type of fee or penalty|| Amount |
|Pool or spa registration fee|
A one-off fee payable to the relevant council for the registration of your pool or spa.
|Information search fee (if applicable)|
This fee enables the council to conduct the appropriate searches to determine the date of construction of your pool or spa and any associated building permits, which determines the applicable barrier standard. The information search fee only applies to pools or spas constructed before 1 June 2020.
|Failure to register swimming pool or spa within relevant timeframe||up to $1,652.20^|
* Fees are set by the relevant council and will not exceed this amount. Please check the council’s website for the fee that applies.
^ Fee and penalty units are indexed and increase by a small amount on 1 July each year, in accordance with the Monetary Units Act 2004. From 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, one fee unit is $14.81. The amount is rounded to the nearest 10 cents. From 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, one penalty unit is $165.22. For penalty units, the amount is rounded to the nearest dollar.
Frequently asked questions
Pool and spa owners
Each council in Victoria will maintain a register for pools and spas located within their municipality.
After registering your pool or spa, the relevant council is required to send you written notification confirming:
- that your pool or spa has been registered
- the date of construction of your pool or spa and the applicable barrier standard
- your right to appeal to the Building Appeals Board (BAB) in relation to the council’s determination of the date of construction of the pool or spa
- the date by which the first or next certificate of barrier compliance must be lodged with the relevant council.
After you apply to register your pool or spa, the relevant council will determine the date of construction of your pool or spa and the applicable barrier standard.
The barrier standard that applied at the date your pool or spa was constructed is the applicable barrier standard for your pool or spa.
To determine the date of construction, the council may consider any relevant information, such as the date of any building permit issued in relation to the swimming pool or spa.
This may include information provided in the registration application, the council’s records (such as building permit data) or other relevant information obtained by the council, including real estate listings and aerial photography.
The date of construction of a relocatable pool or spa is the day it was most recently erected on your property.
If you disagree with the relevant council's determination about the date of construction of your pool or spa, you can appeal the decision to the Building Appeals Board (BAB). An appeal must be lodged within 30 days of receiving the council's determination.
If you do not register your pool or spa within the required period you may face an on-the-spot fine of approximately $330 or a penalty of up to $1,652.20.
If the council becomes aware of the pool or spa on your property, they will send you a written notice requiring you to register the pool or spa. You will also be required to pay the registration fee and information search fee (if applicable).
A pool or spa remains registered until it is removed from the register.
You must advise your council that the registered pool or spa no longer exists or is no longer capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 300 mm. Your council must be satisfied this is the case before removing the pool or spa from the register.
Your council will notify you when the pool or spa has been removed from the register.
Yes – you are required to register your pool or spa under the new mandatory scheme.
Please contact the relevant council to check if your pool or spa has been registered.
Relocatable (moveable or portable) pools and spas on land that you own must be registered if they are erected for three or more consecutive days.
- If it was erected before 1 June 2020 and remains erected for at least 3 consecutive days immediately before 1 June 2020, you must register by 4 June 2020.
- If it was erected on or after 1 June 2020 and remains erected for three consecutive days, you must register the pool and spa on the fourth day after it was erected.
If your relocatable pool or spa is only in place for a period less than three consecutive days, there is no need to apply for registration.
All swimming pools and spas that fall within the requirements of the Building Act must have a compliant safety barrier in place. Broadly, these include all permanent pools and spas and most relocatable pools and relocatable spas that are capable of holding a depth of water greater than 30cm.
Small inflatable pools that do not contain multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.
Yes – it is mandatory for all land owners in Victoria to apply to register any pool or spa on their property
Of the 27 drownings that have occurred in Victoria since 2000, 12 involved children who were not residents of the property. In one case, the child had entered the pool area without the knowledge of the property owner.
When a pool or spa is on common property managed by an owners corporation, the owners corporation is responsible for arranging the registration, inspection and certification of the pool or spa barrier.
No. The owner is responsible for registering the pool or spa with council and arranging for the inspection and certification of the barriers.
However, as an occupier you may inspect the council's register for information relating to the pool or spa on the property you are renting, including whether the pool or spa is registered, and whether the barrier has a current compliance certificate.
If the pool you erect is capable of holding water to a depth of water greater than 300mm (30cm), it must have a pool barrier installed.
If you intend to keep your relocatable pool erected for three consecutive days or longer, you should notify your landlord (or their agent) of this. The landlord (owner of the land) is required to register the relocatable pool with the council on the fourth day.
A certificate of barrier compliance must also be lodged by the owner of the land with the relevant council within 30 days of the date of registration.
It should be noted that relocatable pools that do not consist of multiple components and do not require any assembly are not subject to the barrier requirements. An example of such a product is a small inflatable pool that requires no assembly other than inflation.