When we think of summer, we might picture ourselves lounging around at a local pool while our kids splash happily about. But much of that fantasy may be off the table for the summer of 2020, as COVID-19 forces community pool closures across the country.
Throw in the fact that many camps have already canceled the upcoming season, and you have the makings for a large number of very anxious parents -- parents who want nothing more than to salvage a piece of the classic summer experience.
As a property owner with a pool, this gives you a great opportunity to fulfill that need while making a nice chunk of money in the process. All you have to do is make your pool available to paying guests.
Should you rent out your pool?
You've probably heard of people renting out their homes, or a portion thereof. You may even be familiar with the concept of people renting out parking spaces. With so many facilities shut down due to COVID-19, you may have a key opportunity to make money by renting out your swimming pool.
Sites like Swimply let you list your pool and set an hourly rate for rentals. Searchers in your area can then log on and find available pools whose rental rates align with their budgets. At first glance, it's a win-win -- you collect income when you're not using your pool yourself, and you give people without a pool the chance to enjoy a private swimming experience.
Incidentally, renting out your pool is an option worth pursuing if you own a vacation property you've been struggling to book. Though a lot of people aren't yet ready to travel out of town and book a stay at a resort, you may find that locals are more than happy to travel 20 minutes to swim for an hour and then head back home.
Is renting out your swimming pool safe in the age of COVID-19?
The CDC has stated that COVID-19 is unlikely to survive in a properly chlorinated pool, so if you make certain to keep your pool clean, your risk of contracting the virus in the water should be relatively low, and the same holds true for your guests. That said, you'll need to be extra-vigilant about disinfecting surrounding decks, lawn chairs, and ladders that stick out of your pool. And if you're providing toys to use in the water, you should plan to clean them between guests, too, and disinfect them prior to personal use.
That said, while renting out your pool may not pose a huge danger from a COVID-19 perspective, remember that a pool itself is a potential hazard and that renting one out exposes you to extra liability. If you own a resort-type property or building, chances are, your insurance policy will cover you for accidents that occur while guests use your pool, even if those guests aren't staying on the property -- though you should check your policy to be sure.
If you're a homeowner looking to rent out a pool, contact your homeowners insurance company and find out whether you're covered for paying guests who come to use your pool. You may discover that your existing policy won't, in fact, cover you for incidents that occur in the course of rental situations, in which case you'll need to line up additional coverage. Either way, loop your insurer in; you don't want a situation where your homeowners policy is denied renewal because you violated one of its terms.
The bottom line on pool rentals
As a vacation property or resort owner, renting out your pool is a good way to take in some revenue at a time when guests may not be biting. And as a homeowner, it's a good way to bring in extra income. Just make sure you're covered from an insurance perspective, and prepare to take extra steps to make your pool environment safe for anyone who may be using it to cool off this summer.