Kit pools being installed by inexperienced or unlicensed pool builders can leave home owners with expensive legal and insurance issues, the Swimming Pool and Spa Association of Victoria warned today.
Regional and country pool owners are making up a high percentage of consumers calling into SPASA with problems and become concerned when they are made aware of the legal and insurance issues.
Ted Martin, President of SPASA said, "The most important and effective way people wanting to build a pool can protect their financial and legal position is to use a Victorian Building Commission Registered Pool Builder".
"Unlicensed and inexperienced pool builders usually talk unwitting pool owners into accepting all of the responsibility for occupational safety, building faults or structural failures of the pool by getting them to become Owner Builders to avoid warranty insurance which is compulsory for all licensed pool builders".
"It is usually only when the pool owners go to sell their home within seven years of the pool being built that they find out they are legally bound to pay warranty insurance which can be a couple of thousand dollars plus before the sale can go ahead".
"If the pool has been built by an unlicensed pool builder it could be difficult or more expensive to get insurance, with the unlicensed pool builder long gone."
Mr Martin said that what most people who sign up on the owner builder arrangement don't realise is that they become personally liable for issues such as damage to a neighbouring property due to excavation, or water damage, or a worker being injured on site could see the home owner entangled in expensive legal battles for compensation.
Mr Martin said any prospective pool buyer should take some basic steps to protect themselves including:
Requesting a copy of the Pool Builders Registered Building Practitioners Certificate
Telephoning the Building Commission to check registration
All SPASA members must be Registered Building Practitioners
Ask for a copy of the Pool Builders Insurance and WorkCover policies
More Information can be gained by calling SPASA for a list of registered Pool Builders
(03) 9501 2040 or visit the SPASA website at www.spasavic.com.au
The first questions anyone seeking to build or install a swimming pool which could cost between $30,000 to $70,000 should ask is -
Are you a licensed pool builder?
Are you able to provide warranty insurance?