Multifamily Insight: Swimsuit Edition (Pool Rules)

As summer approaches commercial pools across the country welcome tenants and friends of tenants. Are your “pool rules” posted?  No glass, no running.  Postings about attire?  We are  generally unconcerned about attire.  However, regarding what is tasteful, there is always someone willing to test the boundaries of public opinion. 

Since most properties are without a full time “pool police” good behavior is based substantially on the honor system. This  honor systems assumes (assume being one of my least favorite words) people  will be  guided by society’s rules  of decency.  Are we fooling ourselves here?  Decency, after all, is subjective.

Fore example; everyone likes a good looking swimsuit. We like them even more when displayed by someone that can wear them well. When it comes to clothing we hope common sense prevails. Whether in the bible belt or a stone’s throw from Hollywood Blvd, we hope the “essentials” are covered and remain that way in our public areas on property.

Fortunately, at the property level, no one need be in charge of regulating good taste in swimwear.  Unfortunately, there are those occasional lost souls (or drunken, or exhibitionist souls) that see the pool party audience as an opportunity to strut their stuff (literally).  Here is where “community action” comes in. 

Whereas many properties have on-site management, many do not.  And those with a pool (an un-supervised pool) must rely on self-patrolling of errant behavior.

  • Consider posting the office telephone number in the pool area so that any residence or guest enjoying the pool can reach for their handy cell phone to report behavior that  endangers safety or quiet enjoyment. 
  • Consider posting more rules than fewer rules. No diving “cannot” be presumed. Same with smoking. Unless it’s posted as a non-smoking area then smoking is assumed to be allowed.
  • Make absolutely certain to post pool hours. 
  • Check your pool insurance rider.  It may have certain added pool postings that are required for your policy to remain in full force.
  • Water, pool guest and animals are always a bad idea. 
  • Sign size.  Most municipalities have a minimum size.  Find out prior to buying a new sign (that’s three inches too small).

Pools are a seasonal community amenity that provide enjoyment and requires responsible use. Pools are a leasing selling point and common area expense.  Balancing practical use with enforcement of pool rules are an on-going part of being in property management. 

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Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.  For more information, visit:

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