murali.kodem…, Home Buyer in Plano, TX

Advice needed on buying rental properties with pool. What are the liabilities associated with it apart from maintenance and less cash flow?

Asked by murali.kodemala, Plano, TX Mon Apr 1, 2013

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Hi Murali,

I would avoid a rental home with a pool. It just seems like too much liability. I believe pools are the leading cause of death for children in the US, (not positive but I know it is up there on the list). I would also expect that it lowers the likelihood of someone with children wanting to rent from you.
I have had both positive and negative experiences with pools in rentals. In lower to middle income target markets, they are likely not worth the hassle unless the purchase price allows you to fill it in. Most people do not have the time, money, or inclination to take care of a pool. It is literally a money pit with maintainence and repair costs.
However, if you have high-end rental, I believe you can get your money's worth. If you can pass on the costs to the tenant and the pool is an added value item that is in demand by the targeted tenant market, then you may be able to justify the liability.
Also you will need to look at the maintenance issues with a pool.
- Monitoring calcium hardness once a year
- Maintaining your chlorine levels
- Checking the pH
- Checking the alkalinity
- As the surface of the pool begins to age, the plaster will require repairs
- Maintaining the Pumps and filter/heater, if is the pool heated
As far as who should maintain the pool, I would advise hiring an experienced company. Do not let your tenant maintain the pool or let them chose the pool company.
There are always liabilities with owning, and renting, a property with a pool. Here are some simple tips:
1) Protect the pool. Make sure you take an active interest in meeting, and exceeding, all your local city and state requirements for swimming pool barriers.
2) If you have a slide or diving board, remove them. The less you have people actively climbing or jumping, the better likelihood of avoiding injury, risk of injury, and potential lawsuits for lack of maintenance or deteriorated conditions.
3) Make sure you know your renter. If they have young children, you might want to offer some classes to the local swim schools or just rethink renting to parents with young children.
4) Insurance, Insurance, Insurance! Contact your local insurance agent and ask about additional protection that you can carry for renting a house with a pool and gaining lawsuit coverage for accidental injury or death.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Liability is always an issue, no matter whether there is a pool or just a plain jane house.
Falls are the leading cause of death in children, not drowning. But drowning does take 1,000 little lives every year in America.

You can read about child mortality at the CDC site http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/NAP/background.html and see what that there are 2.6M injuries to children from falling compared to 0.6M car accident injuries. Deaths are 6700 for car accidents compared to 1100 from drowning across the US. These figures are for ages 0-19 and are a tragedy.

Liability can be from injuries from diving more likely than drowning deaths. As a landlord you should already carry liability insurance to protect yourself from other claims, but many people believe pools represent an increased risk of claim.

Your renter's belongings are not protected by your fire insurance and your liability coverage does not cover them, only the property. When a pool is on the property it is always wise to include a provision in your lease that in addition to renter's insurance for loss from fire, theft and so on, that the renter carry liability insurance to protect them from claims of visitors and their own family and occupants.

The biggest single problem is maintenance, not liability, however. Tenant-maintained pools often need to be inspected by the landlord to see that they really are checking water readings of chlorine etc, keeping the water level above skimmer openings and cleaning the pool. Engage the freeze-guard so the pump runs when the water could freeze. Cracked pipes can be costly. Even some of my more intelligent renters just abandoned the maintenance over the winter or threw chlorine tablets directly onto the bottom of the pool. Cleaning up after a tenant moves out can be costly, if you haven't been watching all along.

Long term you will be responsible for repairing the vacuum that sweeps the pool daily, and for the valves, filter, pump and motor. Every few to several years something will go wrong, but fortunately the costs should be no more than a few hundred.

You may want to find a pool service company and pay them to keep track of everything - just add it to the rent. There will be risk, but the payoff can be worth it. If you're risk-averse, avoid having a pool - filling them in with dirt is complete foolishness.
Web Reference: http://www.SumnerRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 4, 2013
The serious investors in most cases avoid homes with pools.
You might ask your insurance agent for advice.

Most investors don't want the expenses, but they really don't want the liability.
The liability is that a kid gets sick or worse and their parents go after you. It only takes a parent to go inside, turn their back, go to the car, etc....there really is no way for you to control who comes over or uses the pool.

If you do decide to buy it after all the advice not to, you might consider including the pool service in the rent. Some tenants might appreciate it and you'll likely get better upkeep.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
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Honestly, were I you, I'd avoid it. Pools are fantastic, but having them in a rental is risky. A lot of the time renters just don't care to maintain the pool. "Why pay the extra costs associated with it if its not our pool?" is the thinking process here. Everytime you have someone move out you'll have to deal with getting the pool fixed up, most likely. Trust me, you don't want to go through that every single time you have to find a new tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 30, 2015
Murali

did you buy your rental property ?

let me know if I can help
we buy and manage for our clients



John Hamidi
Keller William Realty
3600 preston rd Ste 100
Plano TX 75093
phone : 469-252-4661
website : http://www.johnhamidi.kwrealty.com

Mobile URL http://app.kw.com/KW171KAK
ACCESS CODE KW171KAK
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 29, 2013
Dear Murali

you might check with your insurance Agent regarding Liability coverage

They are the best to advice you on Liability issue

as you know pool maintenance is about $200 a month

if you need Agent to help you out with purchase please contact me


Johnhamidi.kwrealty.com

or 469-252-4677

my service is Free for you


, I get my commission from seller

Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 4, 2013
I bought a rental with a pool. I'm happy to have a discussion with you. Thanks! Leslie Wilson 214-734-7920. lesliewilson@kw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
There are hardly any rental homes in Frisco with pools that are available. I don't agree with the "less cash flow" -- there's very little supply and huge demand. Make maintenance part of the rent so you have it well cared for. The last one I had listed rented in 1 day with 25 applications about $500 more per month with the pool than without. Insurance would be your biggest issue, I think. Make sure your renters have it and you have sufficient coverage.

hope that helps. I'm happy to help you find a home to buy and rent it out for you.

Cheryl
myrealtorcheryl@gmail.com
Ebby Halliday Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Murali,

I would suggest talking to both your realtor and your insurance company. If you are not currently working with a realtor then I'd be happy to assist you.

Susie Kay, Realtor®
GRI, CHMS, SFR
Residential/Commercial/Investment
English-Indonesian-Hokkien
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United Real Estate
III Lincoln Centre, 5430 LBJ Freeway #280
Dallas, TX 78240
469-371-2899
susie_k@att.net

http://www.dfwdreamhomes.net

Servicing your real estate need is my priority!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Dear Murali

you might check with your insurance Agent regarding Liability coverage

They are the best to advice you on Liability issue

as you know pool maintenance is about $200 a month

if you need Agent to help you out with purchase please contact me


Johnhamidi.kwrealty.com

or 469-252-4677

my service is Free for you


, I get my commission from seller

Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Have your property manager have the tenants sign an indemnification clause on the pool.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
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