Your pool rules can help to keep your association out of deep water.
Many community homeowners’ associations prepare to open their neighborhood pools by adding chemicals and performing water tests to ensure the welfare of community residents. Just as HOAs take care in measuring chlorine, boards of directors are well-advised to take care in understanding the attendant risks of operating a community pool before preparing their associations’ pool rules.
This article reviews the rules that HOAs may implement to mitigate risks in the areas of pool access, safety, and conduct. These categories contain some overlap, so it helps to review all three before you begin to construct each individual pool rule.
Rules that Govern Access
Traditional lock and key
Sign -in system
Determining operating hours
Rules that Govern Safety
Safety is the #1 priority in operating a community pool. Drowning may be the first concern that comes to mind, but other safety hazards abound, including injuries and deaths resulting from slipping on wet surfaces, diving into shallow waters, improper use of slides and diving boards, rough play, and even alcohol consumption.
We advise creating and posting rules that address each of the above safety concerns.
Rules that Govern Conduct
We strongly advise HOAs to understand the federal and state Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of “familial status,” which means families with children. HOAs should construct neutrally written rules to ensure that all members and guests are treated equally and in accordance with the laws.
Preparing pool rules can be a balancing act for an association concerned with ensuring swimmers’ safety and staying within the parameters of the law. It is always a good idea to have an experienced HOA attorney assist you with your pool rules to help keep your association out of deep water.
CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM®
Director of Strategic Planning and Project Management