As a landlord or property manager, offering use of a swimming pool is a great way to attract more tenants. Especially in New Mexico where the summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees. Swimming is a great way to exercise, relax, and keep the kids entertained during the seemingly endless school breaks. But as with any amenity, maintenance and safety regulations must be followed to the letter to avoid accidents and fines.
Across the board, there are basic safety guidelines for any pool. The CDC states: “ there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.” In addition to drowning-related deaths, nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
So, as you can see, pool safety should be one of your top priorities as a property manager. People’s lives literally depend on it.
Most rental properties are required to have child-proof fencing with a locking gate. This fencing isn’t just for children’s safety. It also prevents unauthorized access by guests and trespassers. Even someone unauthorized to swim in the pool can potentially sue the property owner in the event of an accident, so it’s obviously in the management’s best interest to keep this fence in good condition and make sure it stays locked when the pool isn’t in use.
In addition to making sure the pool area is secure, assuring that the water is clean is also very important. When there isn’t enough chlorine in the pool, algae and other organisms can grow. Once your pool has an algae problem, it will have to be drained and refilled to make sure no one gets sick from exposure. It’s imperative that your filtration system works properly and is checked often, along with the chlorine levels. The pool should also be cleared of leaves, dirt and other debris on a daily basis. If pool maintenance is something you’re not familiar with, consider hiring a professional to make sure everything is as it should be.
On a monthly basis, Monthly tasks include, testing for water hardness (calcium content), pH, dissolved solids, and total alkalinity — and adding chemicals as needed, cleaning the pool filter, and checking the operation of the pump and motor. You can view a complete list of pool maintenance tasks here.
As far as local standards are concerned, it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with your city’s ordinances. In Albuquerque, there is a checklist for pool certification. Certification is required by the city. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in hefty fines or shut-downs of your amenity. This will not make your current, or prospective tenants happy. Don’t skimp. It’s not worth it, dangerous, and could lead to loss of tenant retention or lawsuits.
While you are doing your part, make sure these following items are included in your lease pool addendum so your tenants are clear about their responsibilities as well:
- Tenants use the pool at their own risk.
- The landlord should be notified immediately if something needs to be fixed.
- Users must comply with manufacturer instructions and recommendations when using the pool equipment.
- The gate must be locked and the pool deck free of obstructions.
- If you elect to allow tenants to perform routine maintenance, such as adding chlorine and removing debris, all such maintenance tasks should be specified.
Happy and healthy tenants mean happy (and wealthy) landlords. As we gear up for the summer months, take the necessary steps to make sure you are 100% compliant with local swimming pool laws.
Rhino Realty offers property management and commercial real estate sales in New Mexico, Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. For more information, please contact us at 505-856-0033 or visit us at www.RhinoRentalsNM.com