Are you considering renting out a house that comes with a backyard pool? As a landlord, you have many varied concerns and must consider things that ordinary owners don't often think about. The financial and safety implications of a rented pool property is one of them.
So, what should you do to minimize your risk before renting it out? Here's a checklist to complete to ensure the best outcome.
Check Insurance Coverage
All new landlords should have their insurance coverage assessed to determine if it's adequate. With a pool in the yard, this is even more important. Your liability for injury and damage — or even death — is much higher than units without a pool. Even if renting out a house part-time, standard homeowners insurance is unlikely to cover the pool liability while conducting an income-producing business.
Check with your insurance agent to make sure that any policy you choose covers pools (usually considered an attractive nuisance) and that you're in compliance with any requirements to keep the coverage in force.
Boost Pool Safety
The best way to manage your risk, your insurance rates, and your tenants' safety is to put extra pool protections in place before anyone moves in. These protections should include an appropriate, CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) compliant pool fence with a self-closing gate — even if you don't plan to rent to people with children.
Meet with a local swimming pool contractor to assess what you can do around your particular pool to improve safety, such as adding a secure winter cover or pet escape stairs.
Ensure Pool Appeal
While you do need to be concerned with the safety of your pool, you'll need to make it appealing to future renters too. Homeowners may not be bothered by an old, out-of-date pool design or one that seems to overpower the yard, renters may be turned off by unattractive features.
Give your pool a decorative boost so you get the best rental price for the unit. There are many ways to bring an older pool into the modern age, such as by adding LED lights to create a beautiful evening backdrop or installing some decorative rocks and waterfall features along the sides.
If renting to families, consider a pool slide. Want to reduce costs for yourself or your renters? A variable pump saves energy and a pool monitoring system keeps the water clear.
Arrange for Maintenance
Good maintenance is one of the best ways to keep the pool in good condition and prevent anyone from being hurt. Arrange for major pool maintenance to be done yourself or by your own pool service company.
Don't leave this maintenance to your renters, who won't be as motivated to keep the pool safe. Arrange for regular service calls as well as proper seasonal maintenance when opening and closing the pool.
Agree on Tenant Rules
Decide before you rent what pool rules you will expect renters to follow. Will you allow families with young children or pets? What maintenance will be expected of the renters? What accessories, clothing, or toys will be allowed in your pool? Who, aside from the renters, will be allowed in the pool?
While others will be renting the pool, it is still ultimately your swimming pool and your responsibility. Lay out clearly in the lease what rules and etiquette everyone must follow with regards to use of your pool.
Whatever condition your pool is in or the type of renters you want to appeal to, Timberline Pool & Spas Inc. is ready to help. Call for an appointment today to see how we can make your pool safe, comfortable, and modern.