Buying or selling property with pools or spas

When a residential property less than 1.8 hectares is being bought or sold, documents must be provided to the Land Titles Office to either:

  • declare that there is no pool or spa on the property
  • or show an existing pool or spa has or will have a compliant pool safety barrier that meets the required safety standard.

This includes in ground, above ground, inflatable and portable pools and spas at houses, units, town houses and caravans and mobile homes in a caravan park.

There are limited circumstances where there is no requirement for a pool safety barrier. These only apply if the pool was installed before 1 January 2003 and includes some family transfers, deceased estates, divorce settlements and transfers from CEO Housing. 

The requirement to provide documents to the Land Titles Office and have a compliant pool safety barrier does not apply to hotels, motels, serviced apartments, or communal facilities at a caravan park.

The laws and regulations for pool safety barriers in the NT are in the Swimming Pool Safety Act. Read the law.

Read more about pool fencing and barrier safety standards.

Properties with no pool or spa

If the residential property is less than 1.8 hectares, including units and townhouses, and does not have a pool or spa the seller and buyer must provide either of the following to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents at the time of sale or transfer.

Properties with a pool or spa

If the residential property is less than 1.8 hectares, including units and townhouses and has a pool or spa the seller and buyer must provide documents to the Land Titles Office confirming that an existing pool or spa is, or will have a compliant pool safety barrier to meet the required pool safety standards.

If you need to arrange new documents, or copies of existing records, this could take five working days; or longer if upgrading or changes are required to the pool safety barrier. Make sure that you start any required processes well before the expected property settlement or transfer date.

The documents that are needed will depend on when the pool or spa was built and its current compliance status.

Pools built after 1 January 2003

The seller must provide a copy of the compliance certificate in their name to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents to show the pool safety barrier meets the required pool safety law.

If the seller does not have a copy of the certificate in their name, or has lost their certificate they will need to apply to have the compliance certificate reissued.

To apply for a reissued compliance certificate:

After the sale or transfer the buyer must apply to get the compliance certificate reissued in their name by following the process above.

Pools built before 1 January 2003

The paperwork that must be provided to the Land Titles Office for a pool on a residential property less than 1.8 hectares is different for each of the following circumstances:

If the seller has a compliance certificate in their name, they must submit it to the Land Titles Office at the time of sale or transfer to demonstrate the safety barrier is certified to the Modified Australian Standard.

If a compliance certificate has previously been issued, however is not in the name of the seller or the seller can't find their certificate, the seller must apply for a re-issued compliance certificate so they can submit it to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents at the time of sale or transfer.

To apply for a re-issued compliance certificate:

After the sale or transfer the buyer (new owner) must apply to get the compliance certificate re-issued in their name by following the same process above.

If the seller has an acknowledgement notice in their name they must show it to the buyer and submit it to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

The buyer must then decide if the pool safety barrier meets the Community Safety Standard.  Read about the pool safety standards and the Community Safety Standards.

If the buyer agrees the existing pool safety barrier meets the Community Safety Standard they must fill in a purchaser’s declaration form and submit it to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

Purchaser’s declaration form (67.1 kb)
Purchaser’s declaration form (900.2 kb) 

If the buyer does not agree that the Community Safety Standard is met they must discuss the issue with the seller and the seller must bring the barrier up to standard to satisfy the buyer. 

Step 1. Seller installs or upgrades the pool safety barrier and gets an acknowledgment notice. 

If the seller has no paperwork for a pool safety barrier they can choose to self-declare that a barrier is in place and meets the Community Safety Standard. Read about the pool safety standards.

Read about how to apply for an acknowledgment notice.

Step 2. Transfer of property. 

The seller must show the acknowledgement notice to the buyer and submit it to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

The buyer must then decide if the pool safety barrier meets the Community Safety Standard. 

Read about pool safety standards and the Community Safety Standard.

If the buyer agrees the existing pool safety barrier meets the Community Safety Standard they must fill in a purchaser’s declaration form and submit it to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

Purchaser’s declaration form (67.1 kb)
Purchaser’s declaration form (900.2 kb)

If the buyer does not agree that the Community Safety Standard is met they should discuss the issue with the seller and the seller must bring the barrier up to standard to satisfy the buyer.

If the seller has no paperwork for the pool safety barrier they can choose to have the pool certified as meeting the Modified Australian Standard before the sale proceeds. Read the pool safety standards.

Step 1. Seller installs or upgrades a pool safety barrier and gets compliance certificate.

Read about how to apply for a compliance certificate.

Step 2. Transfer of property. 

The seller must provide a copy of the compliance certificate in their name to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents to demonstrate the safety barrier is certified to the Modified Australian Standard.

Step 3. After the Sale or Transfer.

After the sale or transfer the buyer (new owner) must apply to get the compliance certificate re-issued in their name.

To apply for a re-issued compliance certificate:

For pools that have never been issued a compliance certificate or acknowledgement notice previously, buyers can choose to take on responsibility to upgrade or install a pool safety barrier to the Community Safety Standard within three months of buying the property. 

Read the pool safety standards.

It is the buyer's responsibility to arrange the paperwork before the sale and arrange for any installation or upgrade work needed to make the pool safety barrier comply with the Community Safety Standard after the sale. 

Step 1. Buyer obtains a provisional acknowledgement notice - before sale or transfer.

The buyer must apply for a provisional acknowledgment notice.

To apply:

If the declaration meets the requirements the buyer will be issued with a provisional acknowledgement notice.

Step 2. Sale or Transfer of property.

The buyer must submit the provisional acknowledgement notice to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

Step 3. After the Sale or Transfer.

All installation or upgrade works must be completed within three months of the sale of the property.

When the work to install or upgrade the pool safety barrier is complete the buyer (new owner) can check the pool safety barrier meets the Community Safety Standard by reading the Community Safety Standard Guidelines (759.0 kb)

The buyer (new owner) must then self-declare that the pool safety barrier meets the Community Safety Standard. 

Read about the pool safety standards.

Read about how to apply for an acknowledgement notice

The buyer (new owner) can apply for an extension of time during the three month period by filling in an extension of time application and submitting it to the Pool Fencing Unit.

Extension of time application (66.0 kb)
Extension of time application (623.7 kb)

The Swimming Pool Safety Authority will consider the circumstances and decide whether to issue an extension of time to allow the work to be completed.

For pools that have never been issued a compliance certificate or acknowledgement notice, buyers can choose to take on responsibility to upgrade or install a pool safety barrier to the Modified Australian Standard within three months of buying the property. 

Read the pool safety standards.

It is the buyer's responsibility to arrange the paperwork before the sale and arrange for any installation or upgrade work needed to make the pool safety barrier comply with the Modified Australian Standard after the sale.

Step 1. Buyer obtains provisional compliance certificate - before sale or transfer.

The buyer must apply for a provisional compliance certificate.

To apply:

If the application meets the requirements the buyer will be issued with a provisional compliance certificate.

Step 2. Sale or Transfer of property.

The buyer must submit the provisional compliance certificate to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

Step 3. After the Sale or Transfer.

All installation or upgrade works for the pool safety barrier must be completed within three months of the sale of the property.

When the work to install or upgrade the pool safety barrier is complete, the buyer (new owner) must apply to have the pool certified as meeting the Modified Australian Standard.

Read about the pool safety standards.

Read about how to apply for a compliance certificate.

The buyer (new owner) can apply for an extension of time during the three month period by filling in an extension of time application and submitting it to the Pool Fencing Unit.

Extension of time application (66.0 kb)
Extension of time application (623.7 kb)

The Swimming Pool Safety Authority will consider the circumstances and decide whether to issue an extension of time to allow the work to be completed.

A residential property less than 1.8 hectares, with a pool installed before 1 January 2003 that has not been previously issued a compliance certificate or acknowledgement notice can change owner without needing to install or upgrade a pool safety barrier if:

  • the property is being transferred to a spouse, surviving relative or a member of a deceased person’s family
  • or the property is being transferred as part of a property settlement under the Family Law Act or the De Facto Relationships Act
  • or the buyer had previously shared ownership of that property (was a tenant-in-common) with the Chief Executive Officer (Housing) under a housing scheme and after the transfer will no longer share ownership with the Chief Executive (Housing)
  • or the property is being transferred to an immediate family member of the previous owner of the property.

If one of the above circumstances applies, you can apply for a temporary acknowledgement notice

To apply:

If the application meets the requirements, you will receive a temporary acknowledgement notice which will allow the property to be transferred.

The temporary acknowledgement notice must be submitted to the Land Titles Office with other required transfer documents.

If an executor or administrator is appointed

Where a property is being transmitted to an executor or administrator after the death of the property owner, there is no requirement to provide any paperwork regarding the pool safety barrier at the time of transmittal.

The executor or administrator will need to obtain pool safety barrier paperwork for any future transfers of the property.

More information about being an executor or administrator can be found in the births deaths and marriages section.

Help and more information

Contact the Pool Fencing Unit.

Last updated: 27 June 2017