6 Considerations when Renting Out a House with a Pool

Written on September 8, 2015 by

pool3As a landlord and investor in the South (it gets hot here!), there are plenty of houses with pools.

But it’s not a standard amenity as in one of the traditional backyard pool states, such as California, Florida, or Arizona.

When I’m looking for rental properties, if I see one that has a pool, I run the other way.

But not everyone feels as I do. Pools, particularly in hot climates, are a desirable feature that can earn you more rent money.

So what’s the catch?

Here’s a primer on the six things you need to consider before you rent a house with a pool.

1. You’ll Win Some and You’ll Lose Some

Trulia conducted a survey in May 2015 and found that having a swimming pool was one of the top five features of a Millennial’s dream home. The same goes for Gen-Xers who like pools, too.

So, a pool could be a definite selling (eh, renting) point for many renters.

But families with small children might not be comfortable renting a house with a pool, and older people typically aren’t interested in pools, either. So you might have difficulty renting to those groups if you have a pool.

2. You Might Be Liable for Injuries

fence-poolThis is a big deal! What if someone drowned in the pool?

The person who drowned could be a guest of your tenant. (If there’s a pool, there’s bound to be pool parties.) The person could be your tenant, the person could be the pool maintenance person, or the person could be a trespasser who entered the pool without permission.

If you have a rental property with a pool, you must have a fence that surrounds the pool and that has a self-closing gate that locks. Other safety measures include a pool cover that latches, and an alarm that sounds when there’s movement near the pool.

It’s also important that you speak with an expert in legal liability to find out the best way to protect yourself if an accident happens in your pool. This expert can also let you know what all the federal and local laws are regarding pool safety.

Related: Why Landlords are Liable for Personal Injury of Tenants

3. The Maintenance

pool-cleaning

If you don’t maintain the pool, it’s not going to keep that lovely shade of blue for long. And maintaining pools requires lots of work: skimming, vacuuming, adjusting chemicals, cleaning the filters, and chlorinating.

You can do this regular weekly chore yourself, or you can hire (more expense to factor into your bottom line) someone to do it for you.

If your tenant is experienced in maintaining pools, you might want to consider letting him maintain it, but make sure you’re satisfied that he knows what he’s doing and that he’ll keep up with the job. You’ll probably need to check on this yourself … you don’t want the pool to go neglected. It can be expensive to clean and fix a neglected pool.

4. The Extra Insurance

Call your insurance agent pronto. You’ll need at a minimum $1 million worth of liability coverage if you have a pool. Make sure that your regular liability coverage covers pools. If not, you might need to pay more.

Your insurance agent can advise you on this. And if you don’t have the required safety equipment set up, your insurance likely won’t pay out.

If you don’t have an LLC set up, you might want to do so. The LLC protects your personal assets if you’re sued. The LLC’s assets would still be subject to attack, however.

Related:

5. Add an Addendum to Your Lease

Spell out the rules of the pool that you and your tenant sign in an addendum. Here, you can list whether you or your tenant is responsible for maintenance duties.

You should include that it’s the tenant’s responsibility to notify you immediately if something is wrong with the pool or the fence surrounding it.

Let the tenant know that she’s responsible for repairing or replacing anything she might have damaged.

Related: Tip #29 – Find a Rock-solid Lease and Stick to It

6. Consider an HOA with a Pool

When you buy in an HOA neighborhood, you need to determine the monthly HOA dues and add those into your overall cost estimate to find out whether the property will be profitable. You’ll need to get enough in rent to cover the HOA dues, basically.

The upside is that if the community has access to a pool, you’re providing your tenants with this amenity without having to maintain or insure it. Keep in mind, however, that if there were a drowning in the HOA pool, all the homeowners are liable to pay any financial obligations that exceed the HOA’s insurance coverage.

You have the right to see the HOA’s financial statement before you buy in an HOA neighborhood.

As you can see, it’s easier to just say “no” to a pool. But, depending on where you live and what the expectations are for having a pool combined with the increased rent you stand to collect, it’s not always an automatic “no.”

What About You?

Do you have a pool at your rental property? Let us know your experience!

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33 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Lucas Hall

    Hi Laura,

    I have a pool at one of my rentals, and boy is it expensive. The upkeep is about $800/year and the equipment will sometimes “mysteriously” break. I live in the Mid-atlantic area, so I can only keep it open for about 5 months. In my opinion, I don’t make back it’s operating costs.

  • Laura Agadoni

    Hi Lucas,
    Sorry the pool is so expensive for you. That’s pretty much what I figured here in GA, too. In my area, there are many HOA neighborhoods with pools, so that’s what I stick with. But in some states, it’s practically expected that you have a pool, I think.

    • George

      I have 2 homes in Florida that have salt water pools. My lease stipulates that the tenant is responsible for the bi-weekly maintenance of the pool. The average cost is 900.00 per year. Or $75.00 per month.
      I have a umbrella policy on all the homes for liability and an addendum to the lease stipulating responsibility of the owner in case of drowning. The homes have a positive can flow of 38% after all expenses.

      • dina

        HELP… i have a property to rent and not sure how to deal pool liability insurance or who to ask, what does it entails “umbrella policy on all the homes for liability and an addendum to the lease stipulating responsibility of the owner in case of drowning” how much liability insurance??

  • Laura Agadoni

    Hi George,
    Sounds like you have a great set up! Congrats!

  • George Lambert

    Like you, I would never, ever, EVER buy a rental home that has a pool. Too many negatives for me. But even though your article doesn’t apply to me, I’m sure there are readers who feel otherwise. Plus someone who has a home with a pool may become a landlord due to job relocation or other circumstance.

    George Lambert
    Author, What You Must Know BEFORE Becoming a Greedy Landlord. How to build a portfolio of investment properties for an income that lasts a lifetime.

  • Jennifer

    We rent a home with a pool in AZ. The motor broke in the pump . Our lease states that the landlord is responsible for repair of all permanent structures, but it does not state how long he has to repair. We pay for weekly maintenance. The water is quickly turning green and our four kids don’t have use of the pool now that they are out of school. We pay a higher rent for a house with a pool that we can’t use. Does the landlord have a certain timeframe to repair, even though it is not an “essential?” Thank you!

    • Laura Agadoni

      Hi Jennifer,
      Since you’re paying extra for the pool, it is part of your rental agreement to have a pool to use. At this point, tell the landlord that the pool is unusable. Ask your landlord whether you would prefer that you use repair and deduct (where you pay to have the pump fixed and deduct the cost from the rent you pay next month) or to let you pay less rent until the pool is fixed. If the landlord prefers the second option, look at what comparable homes without pools in your area charge for rent, and propose that you pay that amount. Caution: Don’t just stop paying rent or use repair and deduct if the landlord doesn’t agree because those actions could get you evicted. If worse comes to worse, you can move when your lease is up.

  • Lawanda

    My landlord will not fix anything she benefit fro. 900.rent a month pool pump went out she said I have fro buy it ,the hot tub heater went out I have to buy its a win win for them I’m the one losing money I can’t take it with me when Imove

  • Laura Agadoni

    Hi Lawanda,
    A pool/hot tub are not items landlord necessarily have to fix. They do not fall under items that are necessary to make the place habitable. However, if you are paying extra rent because of the pool and hot tub, then you landlord does need to keep them in working order.

  • Meshia

    Hi we are renting a house with a pool and we have painted and repaired pipes in the pool and our landlord says we have to get a million dollar liability insurance policy ? I agree maybe we should have renters insurance . The pool was not up and running when we moved in However we did all the repairs ?what rights do we have?

    • Laura Agadoni

      Hi Meshia,
      Read numbers 2 and 4 above. Your landlord is probably responsible for getting liability insurance in case there’s an accident in the pool.
      Whenever you rent, you should have renters insurance.
      Your rights concerning the pool are between you and your landlord. Often, if the pool is unusable, landlords might let their tenants get it in shape for use, but that would be at the tenant’s time and expense unless use of pool is part of the rental agreement.

      • Meshia

        Thanks however he tells us we have to get the million dollar insurance policy? And as far as the maintainece of the pool we are ok with that however we had to go above and beyond maintenance we had to repair pipes underground which I feel is upgrades to HIS Pool and his property?

        • Laura Agadoni

          Hi Meshia,
          You need to read your lease to see what is required in your personal situation regarding what sort of insurance you need to buy.
          Regarding the pipes you repaired: If the pipes you repaired are necessary as part of your everyday water needs, then the landlord pays. If the pipes you repaired are solely for the pool, you pay since it was your choice to use the pool or not, unless, as I stated earlier, the pool is part of your rental agreement.

  • Scott Schumacher

    We are putting together a high end rental property in Hocking Hills Ohio and have decided that we want to install a pool…with a building around it that will have sliding doors (so outside can get in during summer and outside can’t get in during winter.). We get free natural gas from a well on the property so heat is not an issue.

    QUESTION: Would you suggest we install a fresh or salt water pool? I want to differentiate our property but I don’t want to lose prospects because the either don’t like or THINK they won’t like a salt pool. All in, do you think it’s risky to install a salt water pool in a rental area where people aren’t generally familiar with salt water?

    I say too risky…my partner say not.

    • Laura Agadoni

      Hi Scott,
      I’m no expert on this since I’ve always had an HOA pool in my own and rental properties! But if I were to install a pool in a rental, I’d install saltwater for two reasons: There are fewer chemicals, meaning that health-conscious people typically prefer them, and they require less maintenance, which is better for a rental. But that’s just me! Maybe people with some experience will chime in …

  • April Swartz

    Hi! We are the landlords for a house with a pool. The new tenants were unhappy with the first cleaning company so we got a new one.. they are much happier with the new company but they complain that the pool is dirty looking because the tiles are discolored and could use an acid wash. We have agreed to pay for the acid wash despite the fact that the pool is completely clean and usable but they are responsible for the water bill for the house.. and they dont think they should have to pay for the water to refill the pool.. this is just crazy right?

    • ALan

      Kick them out!!!!
      you are being way too nice
      The criteria for maintenance is yours, if they dislike the pool have them leave the house get new and better tenants.

  • Hong Ling

    Hi, I have a pool in my rental house. The rental agreement specified that the tenant are responsible for maintenance of the pool. I have home warranty insurance for the pump and filtration system. But, the vacuum is not part of it covered. My past tenant always take care of the vacuum. But, this new one has asked me to pay for the parts to fix the vacuum. Is it right?

  • Cassandra Czajkowski

    My landlord has left no way of exiting the pool where we live, is that legal? Has to be a safety hazard right? No ladders, no built in steps, nothing!!! Gotta get up push up style on the sides….

  • Daniel

    We rent a house and want to install a pool. Can the landlord transfer the liability from his insurance to our name, and we can be fully accountable for the pool?

  • VGreen

    Hi Laura! We have rented 2 homes with pools and always had a wonderful experience. The home we just moved into, the landlord was lax with upkeep and promised before we moved in that it would be cleaned and ready to move in. It was not. We have been able to swim about 5 times. The pool has a crack in the bottom, the water has never been replaced in 7 years – maybe longer, it is always cloudy and dirty, the calcium deposits are very thick on the tiles, dirt and stains all over the interior cement, broken pump leaking water. Still after three months, nothing. They did hire a pool company who comes weekly but they are here for 20 min, and leave it dirty, shocking it saying we can swim at 2:PM but it’s not clean. What can we do? Withhold rent

  • Arianne Murray

    Hello. I signed a lease agreement on 2\2017 and in the lease agreement it states the pool may be used my the tenant from 10 am to 10 pm. There is no day restrictions. Once the LL opened the pool, around Memorial day weekend she put a lock on the gate and said that I could only use the pool on the weekends when she is home, saying her insurance company said she had to be home. Now I believe this is a lie because why on earth would an insurance company even know if she was home and she is not a certified lifeguard or anything. I am extremely angry about this lease agreement that she is breaking. Please tell me what my rights are and how to go about it. I live in New Jersey. Thank you!

  • Jesus

    Hi, my wife and I are looking into buying a foreclosed home with a pool so we can rent it out, but after reading the above horror stories, I might just fill it with dirt and save me the headaches. The property is priced well under value so I think this is the way to go. I would greatly appreciate any feedback.
    Thank You!

    • Melanie

      Hi Jesus,
      Fill the pool in. We have a rental house with a pool. It’s a nightmare. That’s putting it lightly. This house is in a nice neighborhood, corner lot with a pool house. We have had nothing but trouble since renting this house in four years. Four renters. If you get the right person it might do well. We do not charge extra rent for pool because of the expense to renter. We maintain main equipment. Tired of the hassel and expense.

  • Kathy

    Hi, I am on the other side of the coin. I am renting a home with a pool for three years. I have verbally agreed to renew my lease and when we met to sign the documents, they presented me with a pool addendum. I see the need for the addendum, but how do I protect myself as the renter? I am in Florida

  • Margaret garcia

    Pool is green slimy and mosquitoes and polliwogs come in the winter the landlord refuse to fix it..help what to do??

  • Jayme

    A few months ago we had is stray dog fall through the tarp covering our pool and tore up the pool liner. We are renters in Missouri. Our lease states that we have to maintain the pool. I’m in the process of moving out and I’m being told that I have to purchase a new liner and install it, or have somebody else install it. This time of year nobody wants to put in a pool liner until closer to summer because it’s too cold for the vinyl lining to go in correctly. With the last Tenant they let the liner get messed up and the owner purchased a new one which my husband and the property manager put in together. If I purchase a new liner it’s $200 but like I said it’s too cold to put in, or pay $1,500 for someone to do it later. Is this fair?

  • Ann Rice

    I just had a light bulb moment when contemplating what to do with a foreclosure I purchased that has an in ground pool needing big repairs (heater was stolen after foreclosure)

    Build a deck IN it !!!
    I did some googling and found a company called “Deckover” who specialize in “retiring” in ground pools by building a level deck surface.
    It can always be brought out of retirement if you change your mind later …. i’m so excited to start getting this quoted and be able to turn this property into a rental without worrying about the pool (there is a public pool less than .5 mile away) !!!! Wooo-hooo!

  • Andrew

    We moved into our rental home with a pool full of sludge water and didn’t work. After weeks of draining, power washing, cleaning and maintenance we got the pool in working order. We now haven’t used the pool in over a year and our landlord said we didn’t winterize it properly and brought people in to clean and winterize the pool. There’s nothing in our lease about the pool can he legally charge us for the maintenance he did?

  • T Behny

    My wife and I just rented a new home in Virginia. The listing clearly shows 2 pictures of a hot tub however no mention in the listing that it didn’t work, that it worked or what any maintenance or startup responsibilities would be. When we looked at the home then amd asked about the tub, it was replied that we would be responsible for the maintenance. We are good with that as having a pool for 16 years, we are experienced in water and upkeep. When we went to leave our deposit and sign the lease we asked again and did not get any definitive answer till we moved in. We are now told that we are responsible for any repairs to get it operating for our personal use and that the homeowner will not take care of any of this cost. Was in the listing

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