Can You Use a Dividing Fence As A Pool Barrier?
As a property owner in Queensland, you may be well aware of local safety laws regarding creating a barrier around your swimming pool.
From time to time, homeowners will need to replace or modify their pool barrier and it’s important that any changes you make are compliant with local safety laws.
Yes you can use the wall of a building structure as part of your pool barrier but it will need to meet pool safety barrier laws. There are a few things to keep in mind before you begin any work on your pool barrier.
Getting Council Approval
Before you begin working on your fence, determine if you need approval from the local government by reaching out to your local office for information. You also need to notify your neighbour about the project by providing them with Form 39.
You are required by law to give your neighbour this notice at least 14 days before you start the work. Keep in mind that in order to be compliant with the building ordinance for the construction of pool barriers, the fencing must be the same material and colour as the existing fencing.
There are exceptions to this, such as if the existing material and colour would not be compliant with new pool safety standards.
So Who Pays For It?
The law in Queensland states that the owner of the pool pays the full cost of the fencing project for areas where a compliant fence needs to be installed.
However, there may be areas where a pool is on both sides of the fence and serves as a boundary for both areas. If this is the case, the owner of the pool who requires the pool work to be completed will pay for the full cost of the fence.
Form 41 can be used to formally create an agreement regarding financial responsibility for the pool with your neighbour.
Getting Access to Your Neighbour’s Property
In most cases, it’s required that you obtain permission from a neighbour in order to access their property to work on the pool barrier fencing project.
In the event your neighbour does not agree to give you permission to access the fence, you can apply for an order through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Bear in mind that the exception to this rule is when the fence is damaged and urgent repair work is needed. You may not need to obtain the neighbour’s permission to access the property and to make the necessary repairs to the fence.
Can You Alter The Appearance of the Fence?
The property owner may paint or otherwise alter the look of the fence provided the material or other physical characteristics of the fence do not change.
To change a fence, however, you must obtain permission from the neighbour who shares the fence with you. When the neighbour will not give consent, you can request an order through the QCAT.
Keep in mind that the QCAT can only be contacted for assistance if the Form 39 has been provided to the neighbour and two months has elapsed since that period of time.
What About Spas?
Like a pool, a spa will also need a pool barrier around it. Installing a lock on the lid is not enough to comply with local laws. You can inquire about pool barriers in greater detail by reaching out to the QCAT for assistance.
Installing Temporary Fencing
There may be times when a permanent fence cannot be in place, such as if it has been damaged and needs to be replaced. If this is the case, temporary fencing that complies with regulation standards and that has one or more gates can be installed.
It may remain in place for up to three months as long as it has been approved by a building certification specialist.
Installing a new fence or replacing or modifying an existing fence can take some time and effort. Initially, it is important that the new fence that you plan to add to the property complies with local laws. Then, you can work on getting the fence approved by your neighbours.
After these steps, you can complete the installation project so that you can soon start enjoying the new fence.