Renting Your Swimming Pool: Not Such A Good Idea!
It was just a matter of time. And, the marketing material said you could make tons of money. And all you had to do was sign up and allow strangers onto your property to use your swimming pool. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, this new service could also create a liability nightmare for those using it.
We’ve talked about the pitfalls of house renting and ride share services before, but this new service has the potential to be a real nightmare. It’s called Swimply. And they tout, “beautiful family friendly pools all over the United States”.
Swimply uses the slogan “Escape Locally” and they offer you the ability to book a local private pool by the hour. Their website seems to be signing up pool owners by the second with rentals spread over the country. Although when searching Merrillville, Indiana no immediate pools were displayed. However, there were some listings showing up in Gary and Portage areas renting from $45-$60 an hour.
Now you might be asking, “what makes this service so bad?”
And that’s a fair question. Especially in these challenging times when people are scrambling to find ways to produce extra income. Renting out a home, a car and now a swimming pool seems like a no-brainer that everyone should be jumping at … or diving into. But don’t expect a big splash.
In fact, what you could get is a big fat lawsuit to cover injuries sustained while in your care and custody. Let me break down some of Swimply’s terms and conditions and then you can decide if it’s worth it.
Your Legal Rights: SWIMPLY IS NOT A PARTY TO ANY FACET OF ANY AGREEMENTS ENTERED INTO BETWEEN POOL OWNERS AND GUESTS, NOR IS SWIMPLY AN INSURER, SWIMPLY HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE CONDUCT OF HOSTS, GUESTS AND OTHER USERS OF THE SITE, APPLICATION OR SERVICES OR ANY POOLS, AND DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY IN THIS REGARD TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
NOTE: means they are just the facilitator and are simply collecting a fee for the service of bringing parties together
Hosts Duties: HOSTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IDENTIFYING, UNDERSTANDING, AND COMPLYING WITH ALL LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS THAT APPLY TO THEIR LISTINGS. FOR EXAMPLE, SOME CITIES MAY RESTRICT POOL OWNERS FROM RENTING FOR SHORT PERIODS OF TIME, HOSTS MAY BE REQUIRED TO REGISTER OR OBTAIN A PERMIT OR LICENSE BEFORE, LISTING A PROPERTY OR ACCEPTING GUESTS. LOCAL LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT VARY FROM CITY TO CITY; PENALTIES MAY INCLUDE FINES OR OTHER ENFORCEMENT. If you have questions about the applicability of local laws to your Listing or Pool, you should seek legal guidance. SWIMPLY TAKES NO OFFICIAL POSITION ON SUCH LEGAL REQUIREMENTS, SAID DUTY LIES SOLELY WITH THE MEMBERS. With the exception of Swimply’s obligations pursuant to these Terms, Swimply disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from or related to any Member agreements.
NOTE: means you need to do your homework and abide by your local laws.
Member Minimum Age: Members must be at least 18 years old to register for an account, post a Listing, or use the Platform. By accessing the Platform, you represent that you are at least 18 years old. Please report immediately if you are aware of Members under 18, any such Member will be removed immediately. Swimply cannot take accountability for the Member’s misuse of Swimply. To book a listing that would include a minor who is under 18, you represent that you have the authority to do so.
NOTE: do you really want people as young as 18 renting from you?
Swimply’s terms goes on and on and covers alcohol, data sharing, account registration, proprietary data and communication, third party sites, pool listings and inspections. Then they mention insurance…
Hosts should obtain insurance: Swimply recommends that Hosts obtain appropriate insurance for their Pools. Please review any insurance policy that you may have for your Pool carefully, and in particular, ensure that you are familiar with and understand any exclusions to, and any deductibles that may apply for, such insurance policy, including, but not limited to, whether your insurance policy will cover the actions or inactions of or relating to Guests (and the individuals the Guest invites to the Pool, if applicable) while at your Pool.
NOTE: the key word here is “recommend” and Swimply will not enforce that you actually have insurance.
Swimply is not an insurer: As a Host, you understand and agree that Swimply does not act as an insurer. If a Guest requests a Booking of your Pool and stays at your Pool, any agreement you enter into with such Guest is between you and the Guest. It is the responsibility of the Guest to ask the Hosts about insurance.
NOTE: they may not act as the insurer, but as a facilitator they should be making sure the information supplied by both parties is legitimate.
Swimply can make a claim under your insurance: If you are a Member, you understand and agree that Swimply may make a claim under your homeowner’s, renter’s or other insurance policy related to any damage or loss that you may have caused or been responsible for or to a Pool or any personal or other property located at a Pool. You agree to cooperate with and assist Swimply in good faith, and to provide Swimply with such information as may be reasonably requested by Swimply, in order to make a claim under your homeowner’s, renter’s or other insurance policy, including, but not limited to, executing documents and taking such further acts as Swimply may reasonably request to assist Swimply in accomplishing the foregoing.
NOTE: consult a personal injury attorney specializing in premises liability before complying with Swimply or your homeowners insurance.
Those are just some of the terms and conditions on Swimply’s website that you should be aware of when agreeing to rent your pool to strangers. But here’s the crux of it all…injuries will happen. Claims will be made. And insurance companies will get involved. And they will ask questions. Lots of questions.
The insurance company will want to know if the injured party was a relative. And when you say no, they will want to know why the injured was on your property. It’ll be at that moment you realize the renting of your pool to strangers was not such a good idea. Oh, and if you were overseeing the swimming activities of those renting your pool, you could be considered the lifeguard on duty and sued personally.
A swimming pool injury lawsuit is a personal injury claim against the owner of a pool for an incident (injury or death) that happened at the pool (or surrounding area). Lawsuits against private swimming pool owners are often based on premises liability. They claim that the pool’s owner had a responsibility to keep people safe on their property, but ultimately failed to uphold that responsibility.
The Law Offices of David W. Holub is a personal injury law firm located in Merrillville, Indiana, focused on providing efficient and effective client-centered representation. Our mission is to provide top quality legal representation, which includes an uncompromising pursuit of our client’s legal interests, while being accessible and attentive to our clients during times of personal challenge.
The firm concentrates in personal injury cases of all types, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation. We work tirelessly to serve each client aggressively and with empathy, to communicate regularly and clearly, and to obtain prompt and favorable results, while adhering to the highest standards of excellence and integrity. Our team considers it a high honor to be called upon to serve our clients whom we often come to regard as our friends.
Call today to speak to our friendly attorneys, pick up the phone and dial (219)736-9700.
If you would like to learn more about personal injury law, we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law. And read “Fighting For Truth: A Trial Lawyer’s Insight Into What It Takes To Win” an entertaining and enlightening book pulling readers into the courtroom giving them a glimpse of the legal process and what it takes to win at trial.