If your investment property has a swimming pool or spa, as the landlord you are responsible for ensuring the area is secure, child safe and complies with Australian pool safety standards.
You should make sure the water is clean, chemically balanced and the pool and equipment are serviced before any new tenants take occupancy. You should also provide the necessary tools and equipment for day-to-day maintenance such as vacuums, hoses, brushes and scoops.
Unless the lease agreement states otherwise, the tenant is responsible for day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of the pool. This includes cleaning and maintaining the chemical balance of the water and buying the necessary pool chemicals.
Ensure adequate pool fencing meets standard height guidelines
Safety is the most important factor landlords must consider if an investment property has a swimming pool or spa.
Australian pool safety legislation differs in each state, so it is important to research your state’s requirements to ensure your pool and surrounding areas are compliant to help prevent incidents of drowning or other potential hazards that can occur in and around water.
The current Australian Standard AS1926-2012 is applicable in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. In these jurisdictions, the standard is the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and in many cases, there are local variations effected under legislation.
The Northern Territory operates under AS1926.1 – 1993.
Queensland has its own standard in place which is a modified version of AS 1926-2007 combined with a state standard QDC MP 3.4.
General repairs and swimming pool maintenance
Keeping the pool water clean and crystal blue all year around can be a time consuming job. Someone has to regularly test the water, add chemicals as needed and physically remove any debris such as leaves and branches. Filtration and heating systems also need monitoring.
General swimming pool maintenance also involves ensuring that the pool decking remains free of obstructions and doesn’t become a dangerous slip hazard.
Weekly tasks include:
- Physically removing debris, both from the surface of the water and the bottom of the pool
- Maintaining the chlorine and/or salt levels
- Checking the water level and topping it up if more is needed
- Checking the filter pressure and backwashing if necessary
Monthly tasks include:
- Testing for water hardness (calcium content), pH, dissolved solids, and total alkalinity – adding chemicals as needed
- Cleaning the pool filter
- Checking the operation of the pump and motor
Make a big splash with extra cash
Pools can add additional depreciation benefits to your investment’s cash flow. One advantage of investing in a property with a pool is the extra depreciation deductions the owner will be eligible to claim.
Property investors who are knowledgeable about their eligibility to claim depreciation deductions often only focus on the property itself and the building’s assets contained within. However, outdoor items and structures such as pergolas and pool houses are also depreciable due to the wear and tear that occurs over time.
Easily removable plant and equipment assets such as outdoor furniture, lighting, the pool filter and pump are also depreciable.
If you would like a free estimate of what depreciation deductions are available for your investment property, simply contact BMT Tax Depreciation or call 1300 728 726 and talk to one of our expert staff today.