Should You Rent Your Pool?
Got an immaculate pool? You could make extra money renting it out. People have found a profitable side hustle by listing their pool on rental platforms. How does this work? And why would someone want to rent a pool? Today we go over this budding trend and why you should (or shouldn’t) consider it.
What is Pool Renting?
Most homeowners and apartment dwellers don’t have access to a private pool. According to research, 8% of homes in the United States have a swimming pool. Rental platforms like Swimply and Peerspace address this pain point by connecting homeowners with those looking for a way to swim and gather privately. It’s like Airbnb, but for pools.
Pool rental platforms have been around for a few years, but it wasn’t until 2020 that they gained traction. During the pandemic, with the closure of public pools, many people sought safe ways to swim and socialize outdoors.
How does pool renting work?
Hosts create an account on one of the platforms and list their pool for rent. They also get to set their own rate, but they have to give a cut to the company—both Swimply and Peerspace charge a 15% fee. The renting platform facilitates the booking and payment process.
Have friends and family constantly wanting to come over for a dip? Send them to your booking page—with a special discount, of course. Pool renting services allow you to keep track of guests conveniently. And they even provide insurance coverage for guests (we’ll get into that in a bit).
Renting Your Pool Can Be a Lucrative Side Hustle
Many success stories show people turning their underutilized backyard pool into a significant money maker.
Oregon homeowner Jim Battan made over $177,000 in his first two years hosting on Swimply. In 2021, he told CNBC, “I built a man cave last year, and also credit that to my Swimply pool.”
Others have also cashed in on their swimming space. According to New York Times, California resident Vassil Ananieev made about $25,000 a month in 2021 renting his pool on Splacer.
Of course, the amount you can make hosting your backyard pool depends on a few factors. For example, you can charge a premium rate for a large pool with amenities. Ananieev charges $150 to $200 for his 2,000 pool, including access to his three-bedroom home, hot tub, fireplace, and stunning views of San Fernando Valley.
Your earnings also depend on the service you provide. Battan, who books up to 26 visits per week, aims to give renters a luxury experience—complete with heated blankets, towels, and other accommodations. Going the extra mile pays off, too. Batton says that 65% to 70% of his guests are returning swimmers.
Pool Renting Doesn’t Come Without Caveats
Hosting your pool involves more than scheduling guests and laying out towels. Various factors can complicate the experience.
Here are some things to consider for renting your pool:
Your neighbors may not appreciate the increased traffic and noise. Many hosts recount getting complaints about loud music, people double-parked, and guests stepping on lawns. Repeated complaints can result in fines and fees from your local law enforcement. In addition, you could face a private-nuisance lawsuit from angry neighbors. However, you can mitigate this by enforcing rules for your guests.
Potential Property Damage
What happens when a guest damages your pool or surrounding property? Platforms like Swimply offers hosts up to $10,000 of property protection per incident. The payout helps hosts cover minor damages sustained during the booking.
Possible Legal Issues
Before renting out your pool, it’s wise to see if your homeowner’s insurance covers personal injuries. If not, you could be liable for damages. Some renting platforms such as Swimply and Peerspace offer up to $1,000,000 of applicable insurance-backed coverage—which provides protection if an injury occurs during your booking. It also covers defense costs in case of a lawsuit. However, legal experts warn that wrongful death claims can exceed the amount of coverage.
Depending on where you live, your home association may prohibit you from renting your pool. And some local ordinances may fine you for doing so. For example, officials in Toms River, a township in New Jersey, handed out $2,000 fines for homeowners who listed their pools. So, check your local zoning regulations and confirm that the commercial use of swimming pools complies with local and state laws.
Lending your pool to customers requires a lot of maintenance. And relying on once-a-week services isn’t enough. You will have to dedicate time to learning about pool maintenance and water chemistry. Some hosts spend up to 14 hours a week tending to their pool, with some checking chemical levels 10 times a day.
Tips for Hosting Your Pool
Think opening your pool to the public is right for you? Here are a few tips to make the process smoother:
- Set your own rules: You can prevent mishaps and noisy guests by enforcing rules.
- Establish boundaries: Your comfort and just as important as your guests, so don’t be afraid to set boundaries. For example, rent a portable bathroom if you don’t want people to access your home.
- Provide a luxury experience: Ensure your guests enjoy their stay by providing top-notch service. Offer towels, pool accessories, refreshments, and more.
- Check your local laws: Prevent fines by researching local laws and confirming that you can rent your pool to the public.
- Consider the cost of upkeep: When setting your rate, think about how much your pool will cost to maintain. This will help you develop a rate that turns a profit.
- Screen guests: Prioritize security by screening guests. Collect and verify IDs and validate the payment method to ensure it belongs to the renter.
- Simplify your maintenance: Take some of the workload off by getting a smart pool monitor. Automating your pool functions allows you to entertain guests and easily manage your pool. A smart pool system even lets you control your pool’s features while on vacation.
Should You Rent Your Pool?
Opening your pool to the public can be a lucrative business. However, it comes with a few risks. For example, if an incident happens, insurance may not cover the entire cost of a lawsuit. Also, renting is a lot of work between managing bookings, keeping guests happy, and maintaining your pool. So when considering if this is your side hustle, think about the financial risks and work involved.