Let’s face it: summer in the Carolinas can get HOT. That makes pools a huge attraction for HOA communities. Homeowners enjoy having a facility nearby, and the cost is already included in their annual dues. Plus, they tend to be quieter and less populated than a local public pool. However, it is also up to the HOA to properly maintain amenities and ensure a safe, enjoyable environment for homeowners.
1. Budget for pool needs.
Make sure there are enough funds allotted toward maintaining and repairing the pool. This means factoring in the cost of chemical treatments, electricity to run pumps, testing supplies, and payment of lifeguards or other staff that may be hired to oversee the pool. In addition, pool upkeep should also be accounted for in the reserve fund to cover major repairs or replacement needs.
2. Hire a professional.
Unless someone from the HOA is willing to take on the responsibility of maintaining the pool and regularly checking chemical levels, cleaning out traps, and making small repairs, it can be a wise investment to hire a professional. They know the ins and outs of systems, warning signs of problems, and how to take care of any issues that arise.
3. Set clear rules and expectations.
Promote pool safety by clearly posting rules and distributing them to homeowners. Make sure rules do not violate the Fair Housing Act or Americans with Disabilities Act and are reasonable and appropriate. You may establish basic guidelines such as requiring a pool pass, prohibiting glass or alcohol, restricting diving to only permitted areas (if the pool is deep enough), and encouraging no running or rough housing. If there is no lifeguard provided, let homeowners know that they are swimming at their own risk.
4. Maintain safety standards.
Take proper safety precautions such as installing fencing around the pool and providing emergency equipment such as a first aid kit, AED, and rescue tools. Make sure that the HOA has the proper operating permits and is in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Check to see if your pool must comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Act (VGBA) regarding automatic shutoffs and drain covers. Regularly check for any potential safety hazards and ensure that they are addressed immediately and that the pool is closed until they are resolved.
Having an HOA pool can be a lot of fun, but it is also a significant responsibility. The HOA should verify that it has the proper insurance and liability coverage to protect itself in the event of any problems. Working with a property management company like Kuester can help associations to ensure that they are acting in the community’s best interest, fairly creating and enforcing rules, and effectively maintaining amenities. Find out how we can help by contacting Kuester today.