A Landlord’s Guide to Pool Maintenance

Swimming pools require more care and attention than a lot of people realize. It is not until landlords and homeowners have one on their property that they discover just how much work they have to do to keep the pool healthy and attractive. And for a rental property, pool care is even more difficult because tenants are more demanding than a homeowner’s family would be.

Building a swimming pool is expensive, but the cost of not maintaining the pool could be far more than the cost of building it. That’s because the pool could cause illness and injuries to those who use it. TEJ Rentals a property management company warns such negative events would increase the landlord’s liabilities and damage their rental business. Pool maintenance is what ensures that a swimming pool stays pleasurable.

If you already have a pool in your rental property or are planning to build one, maintenance should also be at the forefront of your thoughts. You should know the critical tasks needed to keep a pool safe and sanitary. And even if you hire a pool maintenance company to do this work, you still ought to be familiar with how pool maintenance works.

In this article, we explain the risks associated with having a swimming pool in your rental property and what you can do to minimize those risks. We also describe the vital everyday jobs that should be a key part of your pool maintenance routine.

Risks associated with rental property swimming pools

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  • Drowning accidents

An open pit full of water is a potential danger to small children. If the pool perimeter fencing is inadequate pool gates are left unlocked or there is no security system to alert residents when a child enters the pool area unattended, accidents may happen.

  • Risk of illness and disease

If the chlorine in a pool falls below the recommended level, the water can become septic and allow the proliferation of disease-causing organisms. Unsanitary pools cause eye, skin, nose, and ear irritations and it can become a conduit for spreading infections.

  • Slips and falls

Swimming pools are normally surrounded by wet surfaces. And if those surfaces are not cleaned and the proper steps are taken to make them less slippery, the people who use the pool will be prone to injuries. This will expose the landlord to lawsuits.

  • Loss of appeal

A dirty stinky swimming pool will destroy whatever appeal a rental property has. No one wants to live near a body of water with offensive odor and that probably breeds mosquitoes. Poor maintenance will cost the owner via loss of rental income.

Important pool maintenance tasks

1. Remove debris

  • Skim the pool surface every day with a skimming net. This will remove floating debris like leaves, dirt, and twigs.
  • Vacuum the pool bottom, at least once a week, to get rid of dirt and debris at the bottom and keep the pool water clear.

2. Scrub the pool

  • Use a pool brush to clean the deck, steps, and ladders of the pool to remove grime and hardened dirt. Do this once a week.
  • Scrub the walls of the pool to get rid of algae and prevent staining of the pool walls.

3. Maintain chemical levels

  • Every week, test the water for hardness (the amount of calcium in the water), pH (alkalinity), and the percentage of dissolved solids in it.
  • Keep chlorine levels steady or maintain salt levels if it is a saltwater pool.

4. Check water levels

  • Keep the water at the right level.

5. Maintain pool equipment

6. Keep the pool area safe

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  • Install slip-resistant mats or surfaces around the pool deck to minimize the risk of slips.
  • Install handrails to make it easier and safer to get in and out of the pool.
  • Exclude all potential tripping hazards from the pool area.
  • Ensure the perimeter fencing is adequate to keep pets and children out of the pool area.
  • Put strict regulations in place to keep the pool gate locked at all times

Tenant’s role in pool maintenance

The lease agreement should contain clauses about the tenant’s pool responsibilities. At the minimum, these should include:

  • The responsibility to promptly notify the landlord when there is a problem with the pool.
  • Acknowledgment by tenants that they, their pets, and visitors use the pool at their own risk.
  • Accept that they will only use the pool and its equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • And that they contract to always keep the pool gate securely locked and the pool deck free of debris, at all times.

Finally, it may also be worth your while to have a written notice with all the conditions and instructions placed in a prominent area around the swimming pool. This ensures that no one with access to the pool can claim ignorance of the rules. It will protect you and your business from legal action.

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