Renting with a pool. Not sure what to do.

14 Replies

Hello BP

We will be renting out our house in the future here in the west Michigan area.  It has a pool that is relatively shallow; 4' at the deep end and 3' at the shallow end.  I am not sure if it was meant for a lap pool or for kids.   I have been weighing the options and am not sure what route to take.  First and foremost, is the safety of the tenants, especially children.   I also would want to protect myself and my investment as much as possible if something did happen.  I would go through great lengthen's to ensure the pool is safe in every aspect possible.  I would also have to see if the cash flow would increase enough to offset the cons of renting with a pool.  Any input from the BP community would be greatly appreciated.  

Thanks in advance.

fill it in.. YOUR in MICHIGAN,,, not Florida, or California

Renters can't and don't like to pay to heat them put chemicals in or clean them.

Insurance isn't that expensive but the headache and potential for injury or loss of life would make me FILL IT IN.

I've managed complexes with pools,, and our company had one death at another complex,, All I can say is fill it in

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I agree with Deanna, fill it in. I have zero tolerance for pool ownership personally. holy headache

@James Baker - Check your local code. Sometimes you can’t just add dirt but have to dig it out (New Jersey) because it’s potentially a hidden hazard.

Alternatively put it up for rent and make sure your lease and application are crystal clear on pool maintenance requirements.

Rental properties must be idiot-proof. No fireplaces, no swimming pools, no barbecue grills, no trampolines, no balconies, etc. Look at it from the perspective of an Insurance Inspector. You want to mitigate or remove any potential problems 

I would recommend filling it in law. The law, from my understanding, is quite arduous regarding swimming pools.

Fence it in is the next best option to fill it in...a good one with self closing latching gate. Are you planning to move back at a later date? Maybe sell, and if you wish, buy a better rental. Midrange, nothing fancy except maybe a view or close to park, etc.

Its not clear if this is temporary or a permenant move out for you. If permenant a house with a pool in your area isnt a plus. If you keep it make sure it is seperately fenced with self latching gates. Make sure it has a walk on cover. Pay someone to do the winter closing. Check the cost of filing per local regulations. It was pricey in NJ but other areas maybe not so much.

If this were a climate like Arizona where a pool is usable for most of the year, I would keep it. In Michigan, I would figure out how to legally fill it in and be done with it. Far too much maintenance and liability.

Sell the property or get rid of the pool. You could build a 10' high fence around it and still have the same liability risks.

You must keep in mind when renting to take into consideration the lowest common denominator.

Think seat belt laws, they are not in place to protect individuals of average intellect. They are there to protect the lowest common denominator, the lower intellects, many of whom are tenants.

@James Baker ,

You downside is incredibly high (lawsuits--injury/death,etc, all the worst of the worst things), and your upside is incredibly low, because as others have mentioned.. it's Michigan-- it's not year round use, it's a few months, if even that...  No one will chose your place over another, b/c of the pool, if anything I'd personally see it as an extra cost/annoyance to maintain!

I'd 100% --no questions asked-- FILL IT IN!

THANK YOU all for the insight. 

 It is pretty clear the cons far out weigh the pros on this one.  The Grand Rapids market is pretty solid right now, so I won't be selling for a couple of more years.  If I don't sell I will definitely fill in the pool in order to rent out.  

Your willingness to offer advice  to others, without self benefit, is why BP is so helpful and useful.  

Thanks again.

Although I now live in Georgia, I am originally from west Michigan. Even here in Georgia where a pool can be used for about 8 months of the year, I would not keep a pool at a rental property. They are a LOT of maintenance and liability. We have looked at some pool properties we were considering purchasing for rentals and were calculating how we would make the pool "go away". Both above ground and in ground. One above ground had a nice deck but it was shaped for the pool. That would have been expensive to add on to so it didn't look dumb. So I'm with the "fill it in" crowd.

Depends on where the property is.  Are the potential tenants likely to want a pool and willing and able to afford the maintenance?  If you choose to keep the pool, I'd do the following at the least:

  • Make sure your insurance covers the pool and your provider knows you're renting the property out.  (Likely large increase in insurance.)
  • Make sure the pool is up to code and you have the proper fencing, etc. to be in compliance.
  • Include regular pool maintenance, opening and closing of the pool as part of the rent cost so you don't have to worry about the tenant's not taking care of things.  (This might not need to include the daily/weekly cleaning.)
  • Have someone do a visual inspection a couple of times throughout the season to ensure that everything is as it should be.
  • Create specific rules for the use of the pool, including the times of day.  (Neighbors hate frequent late night teen parties at the pool.)

Or, to heck with all that, and fill it!

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