Renting out your home is all the rage these days. Services like Airbnb and VRBO have made short-term house renting easier for property owners.
Renting a home with a pool however, does make things slightly more complicated in terms of protecting your renters, and your pool.
Here's what to keep in mind when renting out a house with a pool.
Write Out Pool Rules and Instructions
Remember, this is your pool and your responsibility which is why having a list of pool safety rules and basic equipment instructions available and handy to renters is a must. If renters are allowed to use the pool, make sure they have a concise, easy-to-read and detailed list of all safety and behavior rules and any maintenance or cleaning requirements. Make sure renters know dogs or other pets aren’t allowed in the pool. There’s no need to explain why (you can if you want to), just be clear as to what is and isn’t allowed. If your pool has a cover, water features, underwater lighting, or an automatic pool cleaner, write out instructions on how to use these items.
Know Your Pool Chemistry
As the home and pool owner, when something goes wrong, you’re the one most likely to get “that” phone call. Many things can cause pool chemistry to go haywire, from heavy use, dogs in the pool, or tenants bathing in the pool (with soap) - it’s a good idea to have a good grasp of how pool chemicals react and what levels certain chemicals should be at - especially if you’re expecting the renters to clean and maintain the pool during their stay.
Pool Fences, Gates & Doors
Don’t assume the renters know anything about pools and certainly pool safety. Prepare your pool and outdoor space as if the people renting your house have zero experience with pools.
- For the strongest pool safety barrier, look into removable pool fences, to separate the pool from the backyard with a 4-sided fence. Mesh fences are removable, affordable and effective.
- Whether you have an inground pool or above ground pool, use locking pool gate latches with key to block entry to the pool. Pool gates should be self-closing with pool gate hinges that shut the gate.
- For back doors that lead to the pool area, use door alarms to sound an alert if a door is opened without first pushing the pass thru button.
Use a Pool Alarm
Have a last line of defense like pool alarms. There are a variety of pool alarms available for both inground and above ground pools. The best pool alarm for a rented home is easy to use, like the Poolguard or the Pooleye pool alarms. These two alarms have the fewest false alarms, and reset themselves automatically. Both models sound an alarm at the pool, and also inside the house on a remote receiver.
Post the Pool Rules
Have several pool rules signs near the pool, such as No Diving, No Running, No Glass, No Lifeguard on Duty. You may also post a requirement for adult supervision of anyone under the age of 18 using the pool.
Hire a Pool Service
You shouldn’t rely on your renters to maintain and clean your pool. It’s worth the money to have a professional pool service clean your pool at regular intervals and make sure pool chemistry is proper, to keep your pool water clean, safe and inviting. If you don't use a professional pool service, provide the renters with detailed information on how to clean the pool, pump and filter, and add water if needed. Long term renters will need to know how to use a test kit, and how to add pool chemicals, but for short-term, it's best to ask your renters to contact you right away if anything looks, smells or sounds funny, with the pool water or pool equipment.
Lock Up All Pool Chemicals
Don’t leave pool chlorine or other pool chemicals accessible, keep them in a locked cabinet. Children are not the only ones who can hurt themselves with pool chemicals; most adults don't know about pool chemical safety, or that hazards exist. Store your pool chemicals in a cool, dry and secure place behind a locked door or lid. If long-term renters will use pool chemicals for maintenance, provide detailed lists on what to test, how to test and when to test. Write more detailed instructions on what to add, how to add and when to add for chlorine and water balance pool chemicals. Then provide them with the code or key location to access pool chemicals.
Get a Signed Pool/Hot Tub Addendum
An agreement that you can attach to the rental agreement spelling out the responsibilities and expectations for both parties. A hold-harmless waiver will cover safety responsibilities for the tenant in maintaining pool safety, and a damage agreement can protect you from misuse or abuse of the pool or pool equipment. Consult with your trusted legal counsel if you have any questions regarding details on using an addendum.
If you have experiences renting out your home or property that has a pool, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas of what and what not to do.
Comment below to share your stories about renting a home with a swimming pool. We want to hear it all - the good, the bad and the ugly!