In Victoria, evidence suggests that rental property residents are at greater risk of experiencing a backyard pool drowning.
Pool barrier checks and maintenance can often be overlooked in rentals as there are no permanent residents at the property.
The information and resources below are designed to assist estate agents, property managers, landlords and tenants to make their backyard pool areas safe.
Estate Agents and Property Managers
Kidsafe Victoria encourages all estate agents and property managers to conduct regular checks of pool barriers and gates, to ensure that they are in proper working condition.
Kidsafe also encourages estate agents and property managers to provide tenants with resources (e.g. a home pool safety checklist) to assist them in keeping the backyard pool or spa area safe. Some tenants may not have lived in a home with a pool or spa before, which means that they are unlikely to be aware of common faults to look out for or what parts of the barrier they should be regularly checking and maintaining.
To assist you in your role as an estate agent or property manager, an information kit has been developed as part of the 'Closing the Gate on Backyard Pool Drowning' campaign. This kit contains information on the laws for pool barriers in Victoria and links to useful resources that you can provide to tenants, such as Life Saving Victoria's Home Pool Safety Assessment.
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When you are renting a property it is still vitally important to check the safety of your pool area.
Make sure that your landlord has installed and maintained a pool barrier and gate that meets the relevant Australian Standards. As a tenant, you are required to ensure that the pool fence is maintained and operating correctly.
If pool gates or fences are faulty or have become damaged, unsafe or insecure, ensure your child cannot gain unsupervised access to the water area and contact your landlord or agent for urgent repairs.
For more information about urgent repairs, view the Consumer Affairs Victoria urgent repairs page.
It is important that your properties pool barrier complies with the pool fencing laws to avoid a fine of $5,000 or more, as well as helping to ensure the safety of tenants, neighbours and visiting families.
Kidsafe encourages landlords to ensure their agents conduct regular checks of pool barriers and gates, as well as providing tenants with a pool safety checklist and link to Life Saving Victoria's Home Pool Safety Self Assessment app when they move in.
Additionally, we recommend that landlords always categorise pool damage repairs as ‘urgent’ and allow their agent to immediately authorise such requests.