If you are considering a potential rental property with a pool there are several important considerations. Rental home pools have a host of additional liability and maintenance issues. In some areas, a pool might increase the desirability of your rental. In some places they add no value and may actually make it harder to rent the home. Location and neighborhood characteristics often dictate the overall desirability of rental home pools. In your assessment of the property consider all the additional management challenges the home will offer.
Many tenants do not have the time, money, or inclination to take care of a pool in a rental home. Renters usually choose an apartment if a pool is important. In that type of community the renter has no responsibility for the pool or the surrounding property.
You should always screen potential tenants. It is even more important to do so with a pool. Try and determine their ability to maintain a residence and follow logical safety standards. There are some very conscientious people who have experienced tragedy because they momentarily became distracted. Owners of pools must hold out for the highest standards with their tenants.
Rental home pools require ongoing maintenance. As an owner , do you pay a pool maintenance company to take care of the pool? Or do you depend on the tenants to take care of it? The maintenance issues such as chemicals and cleaning can be either the owner or tenants responsibility.
One option is to require the tenant to maintain the pool at their own expense as a part of the lease agreement. Possibly make arrangements with a pool company and ask them to forward reports of their regular trips. If you trust the tenant to take care of it, you might end up with a pool that looks like this. Yes, this is a property we took over management. The owner had self-managed and learned what happens when you trust the tenant.
Professional maintenance also checks that the water level is proper. They can also remind the tenant to agree to utilize all pool and spa covers when they are not in use.
These maintenance issues are just the weekly ones. Over time, you have added costs for the pool filter, possibly a heater, the pool surface and areas abutting the pool. It is going to be a major ongoing expense.
I recommend an owner hire a pool company. Pay them for ensuring maintenance and also reporting back any hazards or conditions of concern. What better way to avoid costly repairs or an avoidable accident than having an independent company inspect the pool every week? This professional maintenance should also lengthen the life of the pool mechanicals. Build the cost into the lease either in an increased rent, or a separate pool maintenance fee.
Rental Home Pools Indemnification
One of the first issues an owner must always make sure is adequately covered is protection and risk minimization related to the pool. Are all the required safety measures in place such as fencing, locked gates, and covers? Owner indemnification should be addressed in the lease. The lease should contain a list of un-safe practices related to the pool. It should contain language that places the tenant clearly responsible for the actions of their family and guests.
The lease should require the tenants to purchase and maintain liability insurance. The owner should be named as an additional insured on the property. Make sure the liability includes coverage related to the pool. Most tenants do not have any liability coverage (other than on their automobile policies) so this is actually a great suggestion on properties that have potential concerns. One idea is to absorb the cost of the pool maintenance in the monthly rent. In return, the tenant can afford liability coverage and feel they are getting a savings.
The pool will attract all ages and all kinds of activity that may not be appropriate in combination with water and hard surfaces. If you own it, and have no ability to control it, you better be insured. Your lease must make it clear the tenant obtains their own insurance coverage with additional loss payees to include the owner and manager required. The owner is also advised to make sure they have an umbrella insurance policy and the coverage includes the added risk of renting a home with a pool.
I know of several instances where a potential rental made so much sense, except for the pool. One option for rental home pools are to plow the pool under and it becomes a green space. I have worked with owners who are convinced that there would never be enough additional rent paid to offset the issues. One pool maintenance company owner has estimated pools add an average cost of $2000-$3000 per year to pay for the water, chemicals, repairs and electricity. Is the home going to attract tenants that can absorb the extra utility costs?
Hot tubs also have all the same issues as discussed in this post. They are easier to remove and, unless you own a ski chalet, you might want to consider taking that step before renting the home.
We utilize a Pool/Spa Addendum for our lease that does not leave a question as to responsibility. This addendum thoroughly covers maintenance and indemnification. :It is important that you look at your property for risk. Pools are an obvious one. If the characteristics of the property or area make a pool a desirable feature, carefully select your tenants and be sure your lease documents these issues. It is our goal to make sure the pool remains an attractive feature of your rental.