Category Archives: amenities

condo pool

Pool Safety in Your HOA Community 

If your community has a swimming pool as one of it’s amenities, consider yourself lucky as we embark on what is promising to be a scorcher of a summer in Massachusetts. Last year at this time many homeowner’s associations made the difficult decision to keep community swimming pools closed due to the coronavirus. This year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),has given new guidance that allows pools to open for the season. 

As pools begin to reopen this year, now seems to be a good time to review pool safety in your community and what the responsibilities of the HOA may or may not entail. 

lifeguard jumping in a pool

Lifeguard or No Lifeguard? 

Every community eventually faces this question regarding whether to staff the community pool with a trained lifeguard or to have a “Swim at Your Own Risk” policy. There are pros and cons to each in regards to cost and liability. 

Sadly, the CDC reports that there are more than 3,500 unintentional drownings every year across the country. To prevent this, many associations hire trained lifeguards or pool monitors to regulate behavior and the amount of people in the pool at any given time. The benefit of this is the added security and peace of mind that comes with a certified lifeguard at the pool’s edge. Unfortunately, hiring a lifeguard or even a pool monitor can be expensive and prohibitive for smaller communities. 

The “Swim at Your Own Risk” policy also comes with advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the cost savings of creating rules and allowing community members to follow independently is remarkable, but it comes at the risk of loss of life should a swimmer encounter trouble. The safety of the swimmers is left up to the guests at the pool, often with an emergency phone setup to use in the case of a situation should arise. 

Having a lifeguard means the liability and insurance for the pool area safety lies with the vendor supplying the lifeguards. Conversely, the “Swim at Your Own Risk” policy does come with liability issues for the HOA. Each community should review their insurance and liability requirements before opening the pool and other amenities each year to their community members.

condo association pool

Create Rules and Regulations for Pool Area 

Regardless of whether your community pool has a lifeguard or not, there should be a list of rules prominently displayed that explains what behavior is allowed and what is not. These could include: 

  • No Diving
  • No Running on the Pool Deck
  • No Glass Containers in the Pool Area
  • No Electrical Devices in the Pool or on the Edge
  • No Fooling Around in the Pool or on the Deck
  • No Swimming Alone 
  • No Swimming During a Storm
  • Swimming Only Allowed During Posted Hours
  • ____  Number of Guests Allowed 

Cleanliness of Pool Area 

Depending upon the property management rules, your pool area may be a carry-in-carry-out pool, meaning whatever you bring there, must leave with you. That includes trash, chairs, and towels. Having rules about the cleanliness makes the pool area nice for everyone in the community.

Looking for more ideas on ways to keep your pool area safe this summer? Check out the guidance from the CDC and property management resources.  

 

swimmers in a pool

The Best Community Amenities

Are you on the hunt for a stress-free living situation? Many young professionals, as well as people enjoying their retirement, love the idea of living in a community such as a homeowners association where the majority of the heavy work is done by landscapers, plow companies, and repairmen who take care of the property year round. 

Another bonus of living in a community are the wonderful amenities that many properties offer their tenants. Read on to find out more about the best community amenities that you may want in your next home. 

tennis courts

What Are Community Amenities? 

Depending upon the community you live in, amenities are generally thought to be either indoor or outdoor spaces that are meant to be used by residents and their guests. These could include a clubhouse, fitness room, pool, tennis courts, walking paths, playgrounds, golf courses, or outdoor entertaining areas with kitchens or fire pits. 

Homeowner associations generally believe that these spaces are great ways to attract residents to a community and keep them as loyal association members. These conveniences can really raise the bar, so to speak, to make your community desirable to the audience you are hoping to attract. 

For instance, many 55 and older communities offer amenities that include concierge services where groceries or other needs can be delivered if a senior can not get out. Conversely, communities that hope to attract young working professionals may offer areas to mingle, fitness rooms, or health spas. It all depends upon the needs and wants of the people in your community. 

Here are some of the trendiest community amenities for your residents this year. 

Fitness Centers 

Given that many gyms and fitness locations were closed or reduced hours due to the pandemic, many associations have loved that fitness centers were a part of their living community. 

Not only do fitness centers help association members reach their fitness and health goals, they also are a great way to mingle within the community and get to know the other people living in the area in a safe way. Financially, having a fitness center or gym on the premises can save community members from shelling out high gym fees monthly. 

treadmill and gym equipment

Outdoor Recreation 

Along with a fitness center, community members are always looking for entertainment. Given the surge in Americans getting outside to hike, walk, bike, play tennis, and swim, your community would be smart to add amenities that encourage these pastimes. 

Hiking trails, pools, tennis courts, bike paths, and outdoor game areas (think cornhole) are great ideas for communities hoping to keep their members active and outdoors. These amenities can help people de-stress and maintain their health all year long. 

While a pool and tennis courts do require regular maintenance, you may find that home buyers are willing to pay the extra cost to have these amenities at their disposal. 

Pet-Friendly Amenities 

You may have heard that Americans are adopting pets during this pandemic at record rates. That means that many homeowners are looking for pet-friendly areas such as dog parks, walking paths, and even doggy babysitting options. This added amenity can really set your community apart especially for city dwellers who are always looking for a safe, fun place to bring their pooch. 

Child-Friendly Amenities 

From playgrounds, to dedicated indoor play spaces, communities have begun to expand their child amenities offerings. Parents need a way to get out of the house in a safe and fun way. HOAs that offer areas where children can play without risk of interrupting other community members are doing a great service for the parents of their community. 

What amenities does your community have? Which would you like them to add? Comment below or drop us a line on Facebook