Do you have a pool at your rental property? Before summer rolls around, refresh your memory and fully understand your responsibilities around pool safety and maintenance.
Residential pools – including portable pools, in-ground pools, and spa pools – must be equipped with physical barriers to prevent unsupervised children under 5 years of age from accessing them. Click here to view the full requirements on the Building Performance website.
Tenants and landlords (including property managers) all have responsibilities when it comes to pool safety, maintenance and compliance.
Who looks after the pool at a rental property?
When it comes to pools at rental properties, the task of maintaining the pool is generally the landlord’s responsibility. This includes water testing, chemical treatment, debris removal, and system monitoring.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords are responsible for maintaining the property and the tenants are responsible for keeping the property reasonably clean and tidy. Meaning, the landlord will typically be responsible for the overall maintenance of the pool. However, tenants are usually responsible for handling day-to-day tasks like removing debris from the pool.
Our advice? Specify who is responsible for pool maintenance in the Tenancy Agreement. This way everyone is on the same page from day one.
If you allow your tenants to take care of all pool maintenance, it is your obligation as the landlord to provide training and written instructions. Due to the specialised nature of pool maintenance, hiring a professional is often the best option.
- If you have a pool at your rental property, you must notify your local council.
- You must ensure that the pool barrier complies with the requirements specified in the Building Act.
- Inspections must be carried out by an independent qualified pool inspector or your local council every 3 years.
- It is recommended that you keep all records. Useful documents include; your current certificate of periodic inspection and original building compliance documents.
- Landlords must include pool safety checks in their regular property inspections.
Has your tenant installed a pool at your rental property? As a landlord, or property manager, you must ensure the tenant is following the appropriate guidelines. Whether the pool is portable or otherwise, the tenant must restrict access in accordance with legal requirements. Alternatively, the pool will need to be removed.
Put your best foot forward and make sure that as a landlord you have a clear understanding of the obligations and compliance requirements for pool barriers, Check in with your local council website for a pool area safety checklist and consider implementing these checks in your regular inspections. We also recommend taking note of when pool inspections by authorities were last completed, and when these are due for a follow-up inspection.
As a tenant, you are required to report any maintenance to your landlord or property manager as soon as possible. For example, if the latch on the gate isn’t closing properly. In instances where the pool barriers are compromised, you must take extra precautions to restrict access and be careful until the appropriate repairs have taken place.
Tenants must make sure there is nothing near the pool barrier that children may climb to gain access to the pool.
Tenants are responsible for keeping the property reasonably clean and tidy. This includes the pool and its’ filters if they’re easily accessible.
Want to install a pool at your rental property (portable or otherwise)? You must first get written permission from your landlord. Make sure you complete thorough research first. This includes checking your local council website for information on pool safety, your potential liability, and checking the requirements for pool barriers.
For more information on making changes to your rental property as a tenant, click here.
More information on pools at rental properties can be found at www.tenancy.govt.nz.
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