You must obtain a building permit for safety barriers (including for above ground pool and spa) in addition to a pool or spa built in the ground or built around a deck or other structure.
You will also need a Certificate of Final Inspection before you install any water in your pool or spa.
Victorian government regulations
The Victorian Government has introduced new regulations for swimming pools and spas to prevent children from drowning.
The new laws require property owners to register swimming pools and spas with their local council.
More than 80% of swimming pool and spa safety barriers in Victoria don't meet the required standards
On average, four children die in Victoria in home swimming pools and spas every year. Many more are hospitalised for near-drownings, often suffering from life-changing brain injuries due to lack of oxygen.
If you own a property in Yarra with a pool or spa, you will need to register it with us before 1 November 2020 and have the safety barrier inspected by a licenced building surveyor or inspector.
The Victorian Government extended the registration deadline from 1 June 2020 due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Complying with the new regulations
To comply with the new regulations, you will need to:
The new laws apply to swimming pools and spas that can hold more than 300mm (30cm) of water. To find out what’s classified as a pool or spa, see the Victorian Building Authority website.
If you have a pool and spa, you must lodge each structure separately.
For pools or spas under construction and not completed, being constructed after 1 November 2020, or relocatable – the registration deadline varies and can be found on the Victorian Building Authority website.
Before applying online please read our How to lodge Swimming Pool or Spa registration guide (PDF 538kB).
The Victorian Government sets the fees for registering and lodging a certificate of barrier compliance with councils. These fees don’t include the cost for inspections and will vary according to the inspector you use for this service.
After you register your pool, we will send you a registration letter which will explain:
- the date of construction of your pool or spa
- which building standards apply to your safety barrier
- when you must lodge your certificate of barrier compliance with us.
Once your swimming pool or spa has been registered with us and you have received your registration letter, you need to arrange an inspection of the safety barrier by a private registered building inspector or building surveyor.
We do not provide inspection services.
You can search for a registered private building practitioner authorised to carry out inspections and certification on the Victorian Building Authority website or the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors website.
It is recommended to obtain numerous quotes as inspection costs are not regulated by the private industry and may vary.
You need to show your registration letter to the building surveyor or inspector at the time of the inspection. They will inspect the barrier to make sure it's compliant with the relevant standards.
If the private registered building inspector or building surveyor determines that your safety barrier complies with the applicable barrier standard, they will issue you with a certificate of barrier compliance.
Pools and spas constructed before 1 November 2020
The Victorian Government has recently extended the deadline for lodging your certificate. Please see the revised timelines below:
|Construction date of pool/spa||Compliance certificate must be lodged by|
|30 June 1994 or earlier||1 June 2022|
|between 1 July 1994 and 30 April 2010||1 June 2023|
|between 1 May 2010 and 31 October 2020||1 June 2024|
If a pool or spa barrier was constructed without a building permit before 1 November 2020, the compliance certificate must be lodged by 1 November 2021.
Pools and spas constructed on or after 1 November 2020
Your first certificate of barrier compliance will be due within 30 days of occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection. This certificate must accompany your application for registration.
There is a $20.40 lodgement fee for each certificate. This fee is set by the Victorian Government.
You must lodge your certificate online by the deadline included in your registration letter.
Before applying online please read our How to lodge Swimming Pool or Spa Compliance Certificate guide (PDF 572kB).
Non-compliant safety barriers
If the private registered building inspector or building surveyor determines that your safety barrier is not compliant, they can either:
- immediately issue a certificate of barrier non-compliance, or
- issue you a written notice specifying:
- the matters which must be addressed to bring the pool barrier into compliance
- the period in which the barrier must be made compliant
- the date and time they intend to reinspect the barrier.
After re-inspection, if the private inspector or surveyor determines that the pool barrier is compliant, they will issue a certificate of barrier compliance which you must lodge with us by the required deadline nominated by us.
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with the certificate of non-compliance.
The registered building inspector or building surveyor will lodge a copy of the certificate of barrier non-compliance with us. You will need to pay a $385 fee when the certificate is lodged.
You will need to have your safety barrier inspected and certified every four years, commencing from the first certificate lodgement deadline (or else otherwise advised by us), to make sure it has remained safe.
If you fail to meet these new regulations, you can face penalties of up to $1,652.20.
Fees and penalties related to inspections and compliance can be viewed on the VBA website.
Removal of pool or spa
If a pool or spa is removed from your property, you must immediately notify our Building Services. They will arrange an inspection with you to verify that the removal has occurred.
More information about the new regulations, and how to comply, can be found on the Victorian Building Authority website: