Summer Pool Fun Brings New Concerns

The pool has only been open a week but already you have started to receive some complaints from the community about noise and roughhousing. If you already have a policy regulating pool use, you can breathe easy and follow the guidelines that the Association has in place to handle noise and unacceptable behavior, assuming, of course, that those guidelines have been approved by the Board of the Association and reviewed by your Association's attorney. Just make sure that you apply all rules in regulations in a fair and consistent manner.

If you do not already have a policy, you should put that very near the top of the agenda at your next Board meeting. Pools are dangerous by their very nature and also seem to be a magnet for dangerous or destructive activity. The Association is very likely liable for actions that occur at its pool and should therefore set rules in place to regulate the activity of its members and their guests. At one end of the spectrum, the Association should endeavor to protect its owners from the nuisance that can be caused by noise and minor misbehavior. At the other end of the spectrum, it must attempt to protect its owners from any bodily harm that could result from irresponsible or negligent behavior. A policy does not necessarily mean the Association is in the clear, but it does give the community more defined rules and the Association more defined power with which to enforce those rules.

Provisions that should be included may vary among associations so it is always appropriate and advisable to seek counsel from your Association's attorney when drafting and enforcing your pool policy. Some provisions might define the Association's power with regard to misbehaving guests of the owners (remember—pools are open in the summer so expect many guests whether they be out-of-towners or friends of the owners' children), as well as more general rules about pool hours and fines or other punishments for misbehavior by any pool user. All provisions should be fair both as drafted and as applied.