By Matthew O'Malley
A swimming pool in a condominium or homeowner Association can be a welcome amenity to residents. However, it is important that the Association implement rules and regulations that are suited for the community and address potential legal issues.
Here are four safety tips your Association should consider that address pool upkeep and liability.
Check pool equipment, pool structure, water chemistry, drains, pumps, jets, first aid gear, and pool area furniture before the pool area is open. Maintaining equipment allows your Association to develop a budget for pool expenditures and replacements. Important pool related documentation such as insurance coverage, permits, and service records should also be kept up-to-date.
Fencing can prevent pool access after-hours and when lifeguards are not on duty. Additionally, the Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act requires that new outdoor swimming pools located on private residential property have “a protective fence, wall, or other effective permanent barrier”. This barrier must completely enclose the perimeter of the swimming pool with 42 inches or greater height. The Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act does not apply to Jacuzzis or above ground pools with a height of 42 inches or more.
While Illinois law does not require an Association to hire a lifeguard, Illinois public health codes govern swimming pool standards. These codes state that lifeguards are only required when an Association allows persons under the age of 16 to be in the pool area without a parent, guardian, or responsible person over 16.
If you community employs a lifeguard, they should be trained in first aid, CPR, and emergency response. The Association should keep applicable licensing and certification on file.
Clear, visible signage can reduce injuries and can mitigate liability. Pool rules addressing hours of operation, lifeguard availability, first aid, emergency contact information, guest usage, electrical devices, rain, thunderstorms, diving, food, and alcohol consumption should be posted around the pool area.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it should provide some preliminary pool safety issues your community should consider. An attorney can assist in navigating these concerns and advise on other critical issues, including: constructing a new pool; making improvements to existing rules and regulations; complying with Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act considerations; and assessing potential risks to your Association due to changes in the law.
If you are a landlord, Board member, property manager and have concerns regarding swimming pool issues and their effect on your property, please do not hesitate to contact KSN. You can reach our law firm by calling 847-537-0500 or visiting our website at www.ksnlaw.com.
This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2019 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.