As local governments across North Texas start lifting stay-at-home orders, many property managers of HOA and apartment communities are feeling pressure from their residents to open their community’s amenities. This particularly applies to community pools as summer is now upon us.
But there is some trepidation amongst community leaders to do so, specifically
because of the liability issues that arise with their insurance companies. Most
insurance policies are probably unclear on their standards of liability when it
comes to national diseases such as COVID 19 as this is a trial unprecedented in our lifetime.
While we here at Classic Construction do not presume to be experts on what
insurance policies will and will not cover, we can say that we encourage you as a
property manager to speak with the insurance company and determine these
In the meantime, if the pressure from your residents to open the community pool
becomes too great to resist, we have some guidelines that should help you stay in
compliance with the CDC pool guidelines and with social distancing.
First, consider setting up blocks of time for pool access that your residents can
sign up for. This will help you control the number of residents who enter the pool
area at one time and comply with social distancing. Additionally, you might be
able to further mitigate your liability risk by having residents sign a release of
liability waiver before entering the pool area, as well as posting signs reminding
citizens of the social distancing protocol.
Second, consider how you will adjust your sanitation policies to accommodate the
new pool policies. Will you reduce the amount of pool furniture available so that
it can be spaced approximately 6 feet apart? And will you clean and disinfect the
furniture between each time block, or periodically during each time block while
Lastly, consider the staffing requirements you might have were these policies put into place. While the community might already have a staff of trained lifeguards, we do not suggest asking your lifeguards to perform multiple tasks in addition to watching the pool. This means you might consider hiring staff to document who enters the pool according to your time blocking chart, to collect the liability waivers, and who clean and disinfect all pool furniture and equipment.
If you find that you are able to withstand the pressure from residents to open the community pool, take a moment to consider what repairs can or should be made to your pool area before you do open it. The most common projects we at Classic have performed over the years include repairs to the wrought iron or other
fencing surrounding the pool, as well as surfacing and deck repairs.