Use of communal swimming pools in Spain FAQ

Communal pool in Spain
Communal pool in Spain

There are estimated to be more than 1m swimming pools in Spain, of which 10%, or 100,000, are communal pools that belong to a community of owners. These communal pools are a potential source of conflict between owners, so Madrid’s Professional College of Estate Managers (Colegio Profesional de Administradores de Fincas de Madrid) has prepared this FAQ for communal pools, originally published at This is an abridged translation, not a detailed explanation of swimming pool regulations in different regions of Spain. 

Can the community introduce by-laws for pool use?

Yes, so long as they don’t conflict with regional and municipal regulations, which have to be respected. The community of owners can create its own by-laws for pool use rules for use covering issues such as clothing and footwear dress codes, food consumption, opening hours, etc. The by-laws are approved by a simple majority, and should be clearly displayed in the pool area.

Is a lifeguard obligatory?

Regulations depend on the region and municipality. For example, in Madrid, a lifeguard is mandatory where the community has more than 30 homes, and has to be present during opening hours. The community has to agree the pool’s opening hours.

Can the community block rental clients?

No, but they can stop both the owner and the tenant from using it. The normal form is that tenants get to use the communal facilities like the pool.

Can the community block owners who have fallen behind on payments?

Probably not. Courts seem to think that private organisations like owners don’t have to right deny property rights. The community of owners can go to court to get back payments.

Can ladies go topless at community pools?

There is no national or regional law to say women can’t go topless in community pools, but community by-laws can prevent it with a simple majority.

Do above ground pools for the summer require unanimous approval?

Above-ground pools like inflatable or portable pools can be setup for the summer with the approval of a simple majority of owners, and those against are not obliged to pay the extra costs involved. Installation of an above-ground pool as a permanent fixture requires unanimous approval by the community, and all members are obliged to pay their share of the costs.

Is smoking allowed in the communal pool area?

Smoking is allowed around outdoor community pools unless restricted by the by-laws, but national regulations prevent smoking around kids communal pools.

Is wheelchair access obligatory?

The community is obliged by law to install wheelchair and disabled access to the pool area if requested by a member who needs it, though there are limits to how much it can cost.

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