Thinking about renting out your house and its luxurious private pool? A pool adds tons of value to a rental property but comes with significant costs and liability considerations. Make sure you know the risks in addition to the rewards of renting out a property with a pool.
Liability and Risk
Pools pose a lot of health and safety hazards that you, as the landlord, could be held liable for. If you’re renting out a pool, you need to be responsible for maintaining a clean and safe environment and mitigating potential hazards to your tenants.
You’ll want to ensure that your lease clearly identifies all risks associated with the pool. Consult with your attorney to ensure that you comply with all local regulations pertaining to liability in your lease. Make sure the tenant clearly understands the hazards of having a pool on their rental property.
These hazards may include health concerns (such as the presence of chlorine or algae), injury risks, and drowning.
In many cases, you’ll want to purchase extra homeowner’s insurance coverage. You’ll likely want to increase your liability coverage, but your costs may vary depending on your location and the presence of sufficient pool safety measures.
Talk with your insurance broker to discuss strategies to keep your costs down while maximizing your coverage. Make sure to factor the cost of your insurance into your rental price and consider whether the price is sustainable in a market like Las Vegas versus the increased liability and risk that comes with renting out the pool.
Ongoing Pool Maintenance
Maintaining a pool is no simple chore, and if you leave it to your tenants, you’re putting your expensive pool’s safety into the hands of a stranger. As the landlord, you need to take ownership of the pool maintenance on the property to keep the pool healthy, safe, and looking good.
Make sure your lease includes precautionary requirements that the tenants can reasonably follow. Primarily, instruct them to notify you immediately if there are any problems with the pool or its filtration systems. Specify that the pool must be kept clean and covered when not in use. As always, be sure to check your area’s local regulations as they pertain to the landlord’s responsibility in maintaining and caring for the pool.
As the landlord, you’ll want to take responsibility for inspecting the pool drains, cleaning and changing filters, and maintaining the proper chlorine levels. You may choose to place this responsibility on the tenant, but doing so is assuming the risk that the tenant won’t maintain your pool. Even when renting to friends and family, it’s hard to trust the responsibility of pool maintenance to someone else.
Pool Safety Measures
There are numerous safety measures you can implement around the pool to mitigate your liability in the event of injuries or other accidents. Beyond protecting your liability as a landlord, these safety measures just make good sense as a homeowner with a pool.
Keep the pool covered whenever it’s not being used. You can get latching covers or even powered safety covers if you need to protect small children.
Post adequate signage for the pool at all entrances to the pool area. Include signs requiring that children must have adult supervision, lifeguards are not on duty, attendees must know how to swim, etc.
Keep rescue gear around the pool– a safety ring, pool rope, a first aid kit. Make sure this equipment is in useable condition and meets the requirements of any local regulations.
Keep a fence around the pool. A tall fence with hedges (to prevent climbing) makes an attractive and protective barrier that clearly separates your private pool space from unwelcome intrusion.
There’s a lot to know about renting out a pool. You can learn more about this and other property rental challenges from the ThinkRealty podcast and collection of real estate courses. Learn everything you need to know to rent real estate like a pro no matter what puzzles (like pools) come with your properties.
Note: Nothing in this article is to be construed as legal or financial advice.