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Subject: Guests at swimming pools
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05/24/2021 4:00 PM  
We have a new HOA with about 400 homes whose swimming pool is opening for the first time. I'd like to hear what guest policies some of you have. Do you limit how many guests a resident can bring with them? Do you charge - that might be a problem for us as we have no payment setup and our property manager still won't come out on site.

Just looking for conventional wisdom here.
(South Carolina)


05/24/2021 4:04 PM  
We allow guests as long as they are with the owner. Our rules also say that the owner is responsible for the actions of their guest. No, we do not charge them any money.


05/24/2021 4:07 PM  


05/25/2021 5:46 AM  
I think it makes sense to limit the number of guests, which has been true for every pool I've ever visited. Reasons:

* HOA pools are typically sized for the community it's in.

* The pool is there for the benefit of the owners, not the guests. Having too many people in the pool will interfere with owners' use and enjoyment of the pool.

* Allowing multiple guests per person makes it less likely that the owner will keep their guests in line.

* If you have a lifeguard or other pool monitor, increased numbers make it harder for them to do their jobs, which has safety implications.


05/25/2021 6:01 AM  
I hope that the board has set-up some pool rules and the Association master policy has been adjusted for adding the pool. Can people bring glass containers to the pool? Can the pool be reserved for a private owner party? What are the hours available? What about how loud the music can be played if at all? etc.


05/25/2021 6:15 AM  
Thanks for the tips!

Yes, I am the only resident board member, and the first thing I did was form several committees. One of them is the Facilities Committee that I tasked with writing a set of rules for our amenities. Glass containers are prohibited, people can reserve the clubhouse but not the pool, hours have been established, loud music has been addressed (fingers crossed on that one.)

But in reviewing I realized our guest policy was vague. We simply said guests are only allowed when accompanied by an adult homeowner in the community. I believe we will to tighten this up somewhat, so I am curiouis to see what are the common practices in this area.


05/25/2021 6:55 AM  
Regarding limits on guests at the COA/HOA pool, good question. From experience with overcrowded HOA/COA pools, I recommend limiting the number of guests and having a way to keep track of guests.

I put the following into a google search engine:

"pool" "rules and regulations" "association" "guests"

This search turned up a number of actual HOA's/COA's rules for pool guests. Examples from the search:

-- Residents may bring guests to the pool. Each guest must have a pass. Four guest passes are issued to each residence. These passes are reusable, day to day and year to year.

-- Unit Owners may have up to six (6) Guests per Unit in one (1) day. Unit Owners having
more than two (2) Guests must register the number of Guests exceeding this number with
the Office at least a twenty-four (24) hours prior to use of the pool.

-- Each owner/tenant may have up to 10 guests present each day.

-- Guests include anyone who does not qualify as a Pool Member. Beginning Summer of 2017,
guests fees are $5 per guest per day on weekends (Saturday/Sunday), holidays, or pool
parties, but are free during regular weekdays (Monday - Friday). Guests must be signed into
the pool by a Pool Member. A resident who signs in a guest must stay at the pool while their
guest is there. Guest fees should be paid at check-in to the lifeguards with exact change (cash
only). Children ages 2 and under (accompanied by an adult member/guest) should always be
admitted free of charge and are not counted as a guest.
Residents age 18 or over may bring up to 5 guests.
Residents age 16-17 (with parent approval) may bring up to 3 guests.
Residents age 14-15 (with parent approval) may bring up to 2 guests.
Residents age 12-13 (with parent approval) may bring up to 1 guest.
Residents age 10-11 (with parent approval) may come to the pool alone (0 guests).
Maximum number of guests allowed for each OXH Residence/Address is 5 guests at one time
(for example, if a 16 year old of the residence has 2 guests at the pool, then an 18+ year old at
the same residence will only be allowed to bring at most an additional 3 guests)

--Homeowners may bring up to four guests per visit per household to the pool. A member of the homeowner’s family must be present with the guests.

 Guests are limited to 4 per owner household per day.
 During peak usage, guests are limited to 2 per owner household per day.
 Children ages 13-18 may bring no more than 2 guests with them to the pool unless accompanied by an adult
Guests must be accompanied at all times by a member resident-host to enter the pool area. The member/host is responsible for their guest's conduct, including, but not limited to, any act that results in damage to the facility, supervision of minors, and payment of all fees due. Guest visits are permitted on a space available basis only and are limited to 2 per household for Association-sponsored events.
Guest fees will not be charged during the 2016 season. Guest fee rates are determined by the Association's Board of Directors and are subject to change seasonally. In the event that Guest Fees are instituted, Members may purchase 10- punch guest cards in the amount of $30/card from the management company. Checks only will be accepted. Refunds will not be given for lost or stolen punch cards or for pool closure due to inclement weather or safety issues.

No more than four (4) local guests per household are allowed at any one time at the pool.
Minor guests must be accompanied by an adult resident member (18 years of age or older). The resident must remain with the guest(s) at all times.
Guests violating the pool rules will be asked to leave.

--Each home owner may have up to 8 guests in the pool area.

-- The Pool is for use by WWL residents in good standing with the association and their non-resident guests only. Each Family is allowed two non-resident guests. Guests must be accompanied by a resident who is 18 years of age or older.

Maybe about one-fifth of the hits for HOAs/COAs showed no limit on the number of guests.


05/25/2021 7:58 AM  
In addition to what's been suggested here, I'd also include a rule stating delinquent homeowners cannot use the pool, and that extends to members of their household, guests and tenants who are renting the house. They may not access the pool on another homeowner's pass - and neither can their guests.

We also required homeowners to send a written notice if they wanted pool passes (limit 4 per household - doing this saved money on processing and mailing the passes) and before they were sent, homeowners had to sign a statement indicating they'd received and read the rules and promised that they and their guests would comply. People renting their homes were responsible for forwarding the passes to their tenants.

These and some of the rules you've already seen is what our community operated under before we got rid of our pool (long story) Make sure you post the major rules in the area (no glass in or around the pool, no booze, no fighting, etc.) We had a swim at your own risk pool because our pool was too small to require a lifeguard, so there should be a sign to that effect if that's what your community is doing.
(North Carolina)


05/25/2021 8:45 AM  
Compiling the SOLID advice listed above:

Guests are allowed if accompanied by the owner

Owners are responsible for the actions of their guests

Absolutely NO GLASS at the pool (broken glass is a health code & safety violation independent of HOA rules)

Clubhouse renters get exclusive use of the clubhouse but the pool is never exclusively rented.

Delinquent property owners temporarily lose pool usage rights (Helpful if you have a keycard system). This includes renters.

Landlords are responsible for obtaining pool keycards for their tenants.


You've pretty much outlined the core rules.

I'd add:

Set rules for hours of operations.
Establish notice that the HOA board of directors may close the pool at any time to address malfunction or healthcare issues.
Add a cut-off age for unaccompanied teenagers. (If you set the age too high, it will be ignored - remember that)
Tobacco use policies are optional.
Alcohol use should, on paper, be discouraged (once again, it's the pool for residents so this is really an ask for discretion)


05/25/2021 9:30 AM  
Ours re: guests are pretty much like Kelly's.

Our CC&Rs only allow residents to use our recreational amenities. So landlords may not use our pool (gym, Visitor Parking, etc.). If the case in David's HOA, the rule should state residents, not "owners."

Our developer's original rules limited guests at the pool to 4 per condo unit. But our pool is rarely crowded--maybe Mem. Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, so we changed the rule giving the HOA the right to limit number of guests.

With others, Guests MUST be accompanied by the resident.

That Owners are s resosbile for their ignites' conduct is elsewhere in our rules & Regs, so isn't repeated re: the pool.
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