Home InspectionPool InspectionsReal Estate

New law affects how homes with a swimming pool are sold in California. 

Pool Inspection

In October of 2017. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB-442 into law, which will have a dramatic effect on how homes with a swimming pool are sold in California.

Previously, the state has listed 7 safety items that count as a pool barrier safety system, with the pool home owner able to choose any one of the 7 items to be compliant. The new law changes this to any TWO items from the 7 safety items.

Further this law states that in a dwelling with a pool or spa, “the report shall identify which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed the pool or spa is equipped with and shall specifically state if the pool or spa has fewer than two of the listed drowning prevention safety features.”

This new law applies to any new permitted construction and transfer of real property (a home sale).

The full text of the law is here.

What this means to sellers and Real Estate agents

The impact is any home with a swimming pool that was compliant with one of the 7 items now will have to be labeled by law as NOT compliant in a home inspection report. Making the home compliant will now be a point of negotiation in a sale. Real Estate agents acting as a listing agent will now have to prepare their sellers that they may have to pay for another safety system, or be prepared for the buyer to ask for one. Real Agent agents working with buyers will now have to prepare their buyers that this subject will be an item on their home inspection report.

The 7 pool safety items

The 7 safety items include:
(1) An enclosure that isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home, i.e. a fence or wall.
(2) Removable mesh fencing
(3) An approved safety pool cover that prevents someone from entering the water (not to be confused with pool heating covers which offer no safety protection).
(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. A typical home security system does satisfy this requirement.
(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water.
(7) Other means of protection that is verified by ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Additional Pool Safety

At IM Home Inspections, a pool inspection will cover more than just a safety barrier. A pool inspection also covers many other important safety items not covered by this new law, such as electrical safety discussed a in previous article.