Letting people use your personal pool when you are not home?

laurelsusername

New member
Jul 19, 2019
1
Stafford, VA
Hi there!

I am new to this site and wasn't sure if this is the correct place to post. I am just looking for advice/opinions. We recently bought a home with a 14,000 gallon above ground pool. It hadn't been open in two years so it took some time but we've finally gotten all the parameters where they should be but now we are having other issues.. with visitors. Particularly my fiances family, I don't feel comfortable having people at my home utilizing my pool when I am not there, I feel like there is more risk than reward involved in that situation and I'd rather not be liable even if it is family.

My fiance does not agree nor understand this. Here is an example: His mom texted him this morning (different from last week when she just showed up, at least) asking if her and her friend can come swim today while him and I are working. He asked me and I again expressed I do not feel comfortable with this for various reasons. I contacted her letting her know I'd be off around 5 if they'd like to come then she proceeded to let me know they have plans and she was planning to come at 11am today and leave before we'd be home.

My fiance does not understand 'what the big deal is' and refuses to back me up regarding the personal boundaries of our home. His sisters also feel as though they can just come swim and bring their friends as they please. We haven't been able to have any weekends or time to ourselves as we both work 40+ hour work weeks.


Please Help.. Any suggestions on how to deal with these situations in a more productive manor?

:rolleyes:
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,572
NY
Liability in 2019 is a slippery slope. Somebody gets hurt and needs medical
Treatment. They get whatever they need from their insurance. Their insurance will then go after your homeowners if the bill is high enough. Maybe you have enough coverage, maybe not. Your family member would never sue you but their insurance company will bankrupt you. You see it in the news from time to time. 'Daughter sues mother for $9m after fall.' No she didnt. The insurance companies sued each other on the people's behalf. How much you think your homeowners wants to put the blame on you for having unsupervised vistors/ slippery stairs from not vaccuuming this week/ loose handrail that you hadnt gotten around to fixing ?

It could be a disaster. But its family. There is no easy answer.
 

GosuPaintballer

Active member
Jul 14, 2019
39
North Carolina
Excuse my french, but F that! I'm in the stages of getting quotes to install a pool in my backyard, but my grandparents had a pool when i was growing up, AND i grew up on the lake, so we had that in my backyard instead of a pool. My parents never let anyone come over to swim if we weren't home and same at my grandparents house. If they weren't there, you did not even ask! Liability was both my dad's and grandfather's biggest concern. It's hard when it's family, but if they really care about you, they should respect y'alls reasoning and decisions. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on putting a pool in at our house and I will make it CRYSTAL CLEAR to anyone that asks, that NOBODY is allowed over here to swim unless my wife or myself is home!
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,572
NY
Heck i had an accident and stabbed my foot with a pitchfork 5 hours into mulching on a hot day. Total user error due to exhaustion. Months later it took 2 hours to convince my insurance company that they couldnt sue the pitchfork manufacturer. No no the handle wasnt loose. No no the tines were all straight. Just me being an idiot. 2 hours of questions about my hand me down pitchfork that was probably 40 years old with no markings.
 
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Demegrad9

Well-known member
May 27, 2017
362
Coventry, CT
I'm going through a similar thing, far less disrespectful though, not really disrespectful at all. A friend texted me about having a pool party "next saturday" but I'm heading out on vacation and wasn't sure if he meant the next occurring Saturday or next week's Saturday. Knowing we have a heat wave coming in this weekend, I was half willing to give me some instructions and let him use my house. But instead I just said I was coming back in the evening on Saturday and made it clear on the date and just suggested the next day, i.e. Sunday, next weekend when I'm back. So in the end, my answer is no I'm not yet willing to have people over without me there.

Another way you could handle it, hire a lifeguard and charge your MIL a gate fee. Don't allow outside food and drink and sell those to them as well!
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
363
Katy, Texas
I'm also interested to hear if there area any lawyers on this site, what they think. A retired lawyer friend of mine practiced in California. He told me he had been on both sides of swimming pool lawsuits--plaintiff and defense. He said do not let anyone outside your immediate family in your pool ever. If you must get a release in advance, even though they'll still sue you. And to be sure, he says, neighbors with kids are the greatest risk. I have a million dollars on my homeowner's policy, because that's the most State Farm will write here, but I'm looking for an umbrella liability policy now. My pool is in a yard with padlocked gates. The OP's inquiry is close to one of my nightmares. Slippery slope indeed. Relatives, relatives with friends, relatives' friends, relatives' friend with friends. Never mind the liability. Think about the additional chemicals and cleaning.
 

skimmerswimmer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
367
Long Island, NY
This is a matter of how comfortable one is letting other people use their “stuff”. If you aren’t comfortable with it, then your wishes should be respected. Best to set the ground rules up front and clearly. In my experience, people who impose themselves on others like this are seldom the type of people you can really trust.
 

Casey

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
11,541
SW PA
Only my children are allowed to use my pool unsupervised and when I'm not home. My daughter is really the only one who excercises her free will to do so. She brings the real owner (my granddaughter) over when I'm at work and its hot.
 
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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,317
Pacific NW
My sister in-law once "invited herself" and a friend over, but she at least asked me before coming over.
If I was gone the answer would have been no. But I was home that day so I allowed it.

Nobody swims in my pool if I'm not home, PERIOD.
 
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Killer95Stang

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
875
Sunny SoCal
When I go on vacation, I need a house sitter from time to time. That is usually my Mom, Dad or a close cousin. They are welcome to use my pool while house sitting, or when my dad comes over to look over the house for me. But.. I do lay down ground rules and. do not allow them to invite guests to use my house or pool while I'm gone. I also have cameras and get text notifications when my side yard or pool gate are opened. So far in the six years ownership, I have never had an issue.

Now for the poster that said he would never allow anyone outside of his close family in the pool... good grief, you must not have kids or ever had a birthday party. I routinely have kids birthday parties with 50 - 80 guests when you include parents. No way I could get all of them to sign a waiver. I'm more worried about safety, so I make sure I hire a life guard , and have extra floaties/ vests for kids who can't swim with lazy parents. I do have an umbrella that covers pool injuries, but I can't live life worrying about everything. Plus, having our kids at our house insures I get to supervise what my kids do. Two birds with one stone.
 

DorsalSpine

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
714
Columbus, Ohio
We limit the number of people who can use the pool. During the day It's usually close friends who come over to swim with my wife. Occasionally some of them house sit for us and they have access to the pool. They know they have to call first.

Over the years we have hosted pool parties for friends, their teenagers and even co-workers. There is a firm no diving rule and I have kicked people out for breaking that. I have a second cousin who will spend his adult life in a wheel chair as the result of a diving accident.

Having said that I do have cameras that cover the pool and the yard and a million dollar umbrella policy that kicks in if my homeowners policy won't cover an accident. I look at some of the stupid decisions I walked away from and wonder how I made it to retirement age. Sometimes you just take your chances but there isn't any harm in being prepared as best you can.

I think the bigger concern is that the OP needs to set some boundaries and rules early on or her relationship is going to suffer.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,392
OV, CA
Fiancee, huh? Is his name on the insurance policy? on the deed? on the mortgage? Sounds like his side of the family has a sense of entitlement. I don't mean to draw any conclusions buuuut... I bet this will get worse once you get married. Some nipping in the bud needs to be done here for the sake of your pool and relationship. Sorry Dr Phil is on the TV in the other room.. it must be affecting my post.

If you were looking for an opinion , you will be sure to get a lot of them here! :p
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
363
Katy, Texas
Killer955stang: My kids are grown. One lives in Nashville. The other has a pool plus a country club pool nearby. I have neighbors with pools. I have neighbors with kids but who choose to spend their money on their $60,000 jacked up custom pickup trucks and Harleys, rather than have a pool for their families. If that's all they care about their own families, why would I care more for them? As to parties, that is a different matter. I thought we were talking about other people "using the pool." There is a public county pool about a half mile from our subdivision.
 
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Mam262

Bronze Supporter
Jul 26, 2015
144
Lansdale, PA
Regarding the original post, I think the key is your fiancé's mom wants to bring a friend. Once "friends" start to be invited, it becomes impossible to manage. Boundaries need to be set upon who can or who can not swim unsupervised. You do set yourself up for significant liability, especially if you are not even there. My wife and I agreed that immediately family is allowed to swim unsupervised as long as they ask us first. If they want to bring anyone else, they have to ask us and we have the right to say no for the simple reason of liability.

I totally agree with you that you are taking a risk and your fiancé needs to understand that. It is not worth trying to be nice to people and let them use your pool when you are assuming all of the risk or damage your pool.
 
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