Q&A: Usage of the Community Pool

We have a very small pool in our community. Obviously, it would be impossible for all the homeowners to go to the pool at once. I read something about discrimination since I had asked if we could get a lifeguard instructor who could offer a class for adults in water aerobics or arthritis prior to the end of school (there are families with children). We were denied since we wanted to close the pool to other residents for the hour-long class. Is denying us the ability to use the pool ground for discrimination, or could we be accused of discrimination for wanting to close the pool?

—In the Swim of Things

“Condominium associations are generally leery of permitting common elements of the condominium to be reserved by certain unit owners to the exclusion of other unit owners,” says Russell Robbins, an attorney and managing partner at the community association law firm of Mirza Basulto & Robbins, LLP in Coral Springs. “It is possible that hosting a class, even if only for an hour, may interfere with another unit owner’s desire to swim laps in the pool. Conversely, the association may also be worried about potential liability should someone be injured during the class.

“Still further, opening of the class to non-unit owners may subject the association to federal laws requiring installation of handicap lifts under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Associations should consult with their counsel and/or insurance agent to confirm whether it is advisable to open the pool to organized activities such as water aerobics, scuba lessons, or swimming lessons.”

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