Following a delay, new rules went into effect on Jan. 31 that may require some pool owners under specific circumstances to install permanent, fixed lifts to improve accessibility. While most apartment firms will remain unaffected by the new requirements, some will have to comply if they allow people beyond private residents and guests to use community pools.
Generally, apartment community swimming pools fall outside the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) definition of “public accommodations” because they are for the exclusive use of residents and their guests. However, if an apartment property opens the swimming pool to the public-for example, it sells pool memberships to people outside of the resident community-it then becomes a public accommodation and triggers the new compliance obligations.
The Department of Justice acknowledged that earlier interpretations of the new standard may have prompted pool owners and operators to purchase portable lifts and, therefore, will not pursue enforcement against them, if they purchased the lifts before March 12, 2012.
For more details on the new standards, click here.