Community Management Pool Opening

Top HOA Mistakes When Opening a Community Pool

As the weather warms and summer beckons, community pools become havens of activity and relaxation. However, opening a community pool entails more than just unlocking the gates and filling it with water. It requires careful planning, attention to detail, and adherence to safety standards. Here, we outline the top five most common errors to avoid when preparing to open a community pool.

1. Not Securing the Pool Contract Early

The earlier the better for securing pool contracts. Taylor Management Company starts our pool opening processes, starting with securing the contract, in early March. This guarantees the community is top of the list and avoids unnecessary delays. If a community is unhappy with their current pool company, the manager should request a minimum of three (3) RFPs from reputable pool companies. This should be done in the beginning of the calendar year. Pool companies can have a limited roster of clients. If your management company waits too long, it could mean you aren’t able to open your pool.

2. Excluding Service Details in the Contract

With over 320 communities in our roster, we have managed hundreds of pools of varying sizes and needs. It's essential to detail all expected services provided by the pool company in the contract. These should include opening and closing dates, a cleaning schedule, with vacuuming, skimming, and chemical testing. Additionally, all pool equipment, such as pumps, filters, and heaters, should be evaluated and tested before opening to avoid delays if equipment is non-operational and needs servicing or replacement. A good manager will understand all requirements needed in a pool contract or RFP, and ensure the vendor follows through on contractual obligations.

3. Limiting Board and Community Liability

Safety should always be a top priority when operating a community pool. Are all necessary signs posted? Do you have lifeguard exemption status? Did you get your permit from the Health Department? Was your bonding and grounding checked by an electrician? Other than the pool, one of the most expensive line items for any HOA or COA is insurance. These are all items a top community management company considers when negotiating your contract.

4. Improper Planning

It is essential to determine the process and rules around the distribution of pool passes and guests. How many pool passes can each unit receive? How many guest passes? What is the cost of passes? Can delinquent owners receive pool passes? How will the passes be paid for and then delivered? A good management company will have technologies available for the homeowners to purchase passes on a web portal and avoid the manual and unsecure tradition of collecting checks.

5. Lack of Communication

Good communication is essential in all aspects of community living, including your pool. It is important to post and communicate pool safety rules, pool pass guidelines and registrations, pool and lifeguard hours, etc. Rely on physical signs, email, and your resident website to over communicate to your residents.

A good manager and management company will avoid these common mistakes and provide both boards and residents peace of mind, clear direction, and a timely opening to your most important summer amenity, the POOL!