The summer months are fast approaching and Memorial Day weekend means community pools will be opening for business. IKO Community Management knows your community pool is the favorite amenity enjoyed the most by its residents. A swimming pool can add value to your community as well as attract potential buyers. This amenity can bring homeowners of a community together to meet, relax, and socialize. Is your HOA prepared for opening day?
Hiring the right pool management company is a major investment of time, energy and money. Issues such as liability, usage regulations and maintenance must be addressed in order for a community swimming pool to be safe, enjoyable, and successful. Having happy community residents while maintaining and managing a pool can often be a challenge. Make sure your Pool Management Company and HOA form a close working relationship with frequent and productive communications. Pools are potentially dangerous and require a great deal of upkeep, but if the seriousness of these issues is addressed effectively, managers can provide residents with a high-quality pool environment while minimizing the headache factor for themselves.
It is now time to get your community pool ready for opening day. IKO would like to offer a few suggestions for your HOA and Pool Management Company to discuss regarding pool preparation.
- Power wash decks and bathrooms
- Audit all Safety Signs and Swim at Your Own Risk Signs
- Perform a check of the emergency phone
- Make sure the address is clearly listed on or around the building for emergency vehicles
- Check the pool furniture and make repairs or replace as needed
- Verify that all information is correct on the pool rules sign
- Schedule a meeting with the pool management company to discuss expectations
- Audit all safety equipment to make sure it’s available and in working condition
- Make sure all the gates are working properly and closing after each guest enters the pool area
- Have the pool company check all chemical levels and equipment including the filters and the pumps
- Check the deck area for cracks that are large enough to be a trip hazard
- Make sure there are enough trash cans for the area
Community property managers play a key role in the day-to-day management and operation of the swimming pool. Their responsibilities range from obtaining the proper permits and licenses to training the staff on the pool rules and regulations. The community manager is also responsible for contracting the pool vendor who will provide the ongoing maintenance as well as trained lifeguards.
Lifeguards must be trained and certified by the American Red Cross. In addition to this training, the manager must also train the lifeguards about the swimming pool, including the rules of operations and providing pool badges and the sign-in process. Lastly, the manager needs to make sure all the rules and regulations are clearly posted around the pool area.
Most important is setting a clear set of rules and guidelines for residents to follow when using the pool. This information should be communicated with every homeowner each year along with their pool passes in some type of written flyer or pamphlet. This will ensure the safety of the community residents and reduce the liability. These rules may be set by the HOA or by adopting other rules and guidelines from other community pools.
Depending on your area and pool size please feel free to add or delete as needed. These are just samples to help manage activities safely. Remember, making rules too broad or too narrow can lead to legal problems for an association so, make sure they are clear to everyone.
- A resident must accompany guests at all times
- No running around the deck area. No diving or horseplay
- An adult must accompany children under 12 years of age
- No glass bottles or containers in the pool area
- Pool badges must be worn at all times, including while swimming. Residents must sign in at the lifeguard stand. If badge is not being worn, the resident will be asked to leave.
- Any person with excessive sunburn, open blisters, cuts or bandages shall be denied admission
Do make sure the pool is well staffed. Many factors such as community size, pool size, and amount of money the HOA is willing to spend will decide on how many employees are needed. There will be hours of operation that will be busier than others such as weekends and weekdays usually between 11 am and 3 pm. A good pool management company will be able to assure residents there is plenty of staff. Do make sure the company is insured. Most pool companies will assume all the responsibility for the pool’s safety and cleanliness. Do your homework and ask these important questions. Do request a copy of their insurance certificates!
The contractors aren’t the only ones who need to secure proper coverage. HOA’s need to assess their risk as well. A community association will need liability insurance.
Swimming pools are expensive to run but many HOA’s will find it worth the expense. For prospective residents, amenities such as a pool are very important. A well-designed and thoughtfully located pool enhances the aesthetics of the overall property. It is a great tool when it comes to marketing your property.
Hiring the right pool management company and setting clear rules and guidelines are important to having your community pool run smoothly and successfully throughout the whole summer. IKO Community Management wants residents in your community enjoying the warm summer months at the pool in your neighborhood. These guidelines should be a good starting point. Now get those pool passes out and get ready for opening day. It will be here before you know it!