Deep inside a cool and quiet and hilly environment lies Tonny Semakula’s perimeter wall at Kizungu in Makindye, encircling his residential house and three self-contained rentals.

On the outside, approximately 20 meters from the house, he had built a swimming pool meant for his family use about three years ago. Along the way, he also allowed his tenants to use the swimming pool but with undesirable consquences.

Like any other working class person, Semakula’s job demanded that he always travels abroad for work and returned home at the end of three months to stay around just for three days.

Close it if you must
“I had wanted to hire a swimming pool attendant but I realised he would have to be paid highly for maintaining it daily. At first when it was being used by family alone, we maintained it ourselves and it was always neat because there was easy supervision. When I allowed tenants to use it as well, its hygiene started getting compromised and no one wanted to take responsibility for this. I had to drain the water and chose to close it permanently until I find a solution for it,” Semakula explains, adding that he feared other complications such as water borne could develop from poor water hygiene.

Hire a pool attendant
Robert Kyobe (not real names), a swimming pool attendant at Speke Resort Munyonyo, says a swimming pool commands a lot of time and resources for maintenance. This includes picking leaves that fall from trees into the water and small rocks that stay at the bottom of the pool and changing the water if there is a need.

“If you build your rental apartments and you construct a pool for your tenants, be ready to employ a pool attendant to look after it. They will have the time to swim but will not get the time to clean it themselves,” Kyobe advises.

Preventing the unexpected
One of the commonest scenarios associated with deep water usage are accidents. This therefore makes swimming pools less exceptional. According to Landlordology, an online portal, which also refers to a 2013 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 390 children drown in swimming pools or spas every year and that drowning is the number one cause of death for children between the ages of one and four, according to the Centre for Disease Control.

To Kyobe, this means that you should not only hire a pool attendant for maintenance and care but also to keep an eye on whoever enters the waters, observing that children and adults who are still learning how to swim are those most likely to fall victims of pool accidents once they are left to swim on their own.

“If you don’t hire a pool attendant and one of your tenants drowns to death, his or her family may sue you for negligence. In such a case, you stand to be responsible for the death and you either stand to be imprisoned or part with a lot of money for compensation if there are no regulations with your swimming pool,” Kyobe advises.

Landlordology, an online portal adds that when a pool is part of a multifamily rental, it’s a semi-public facility, and as such, all maintenance tasks belong to the landlord.
The portal tips that it is possible to offer the job of maintaining the pool to one of the renters (tenants) in exchange for a rent reduction, but it is safer and probably won’t cost much more to hire a pool maintenance company. Professional maintenance ensures timely and competent pool care and could prevent a visit by the local health authority.

There is a lot to keeping a swimming pool safe and beautiful, with plenty of opportunities for renters and landlords to work together. It is often easier for everyone, however, if you call in the professionals.