Communal swimming pool FAQ

Spanish community of owners homeowners association communal swimming pool regulations and bylaws.
Communal pool in Spain

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers relating to communal swimming pools in Spain.

Are communal swimming pools regulated in Spain?

Yes, there are regulations for all types of swimming pools governing things like safety, and a special set of regulations for communal pools governing things like access, which are regulated at a regional level, and can even vary from municipality to municipality. It goes without saying that pools must be maintained in compliance with health and safety regulations for keeping the pool area hygienic and how to apply chlorine to the water.

Can a community of owners set its own rules of use

Yes, so long as they don’t conflict with any official laws or regulations, a homeowners’ association can set internal rules governing things like dress codes, food treatment, and opening / closing times, and must be prominently displayed at the entrance to the pool area.

Is a lifeguard necessary?

In some cases, yes, but lifeguard regulations vary by autonomous region, so you have to check the local regulations in your region to find out if you are obliged to have a lifeguard on hand whenever the pool area is open to residents.

Can non-resident landlords use the community pool?

No, not unless they are invited to do so by their tenants

Can you use the pool if you are behind on your community fees?

There is a legal debate going on about this question, and we don’t yet have a definitive answer. So you might be able to use the pool even if you are not up to date on your community fees, but you will probably get dirty looks from other owners.

Is topless sunbathing allowed?

There is nothing in the law to say it’s not, but the community of owners can set their own bylaws on topless bathing if they like, to be voted on by a majority of owners.

Can the homeowners association install a temporary pool in summer?

Yes, if approved by a simple majority, but paying for it might be tricky if some owners don’t want to get involved.

Can you smoke in the pool area?

Yes, unless prohibited by community bylaws. Also, you can’t smoke in any area dedicated to children like a kids’ pool area.

Do owners have to install disabled access?

All new pools must have disabled access to the swimming pool area and a crane or hoist to enter the pool itself, and existing pools must be adapted if requested by one of the local homeowners or occupants who is over 70 years old or has a physical disability. However, the law lays out a limit for the amount of money that must be spent, which is the equivalent of twelve ordinary monthly payments of the community fees, although more can be spent if all the homeowners agree on it. So yes, the homeowners association can be forced to instal wheelchair access to the pool area, and special facilities like a crane or pool hoist to enter the water, so long as it doesn’t cost more than the limit set by law.

Thoughts on “Communal swimming pool FAQ

  • Hi Mark,
    With regards to disabled access, thanks for explaining that “the law lays out a limit for the amount of money that must be spent, which is the equivalent of twelve ordinary monthly payments of the community fees”. Please can you clarify whether that means the equivalent of one year’s payment of the community fees for one household, or one year’s payment of the community fees for each household multiplied by the number of households in the community?
    If, for example, each household’s community fee is €30 per month [€360 per year] and there are 100 households in the community, does that mean that the limit for the amount of money that must be spent is €360 or €36000 ?
    Thanks.

  • Mark Stücklin says:

    Hazel, as far as I know it would be €36,000 in the case you provide, as you can’t really do anything with €360. To be 100% sure you should check with the administrators of your community.

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