So long, Swimply? Palm Springs declares pool sharing illegal in residential neighborhoods
People across the country are trying to take one last dip in the record-breaking heat this summer – but some are saying ‘not so fast’ to a national pool-sharing scheme.
We reported last week on the growing popularity of Swimplya social platform like Airbnb where owners rent swimming pools to guests for the day or by the hour.
Over 260 pools are listed in the Dallas area, and judging by the five-star reviews, many have had good experiences with Swimply. Some hosts even provide snacks, a WiFi password, and access to bathrooms inside their home.
But one city outside of Texas — Palm Springs, Calif. — has ruled Swimply pools illegal in residential neighborhoods, according to an Aug. 3 report. report in the desert sun newspaper.
Renting pools is against the Palm Springs zoning code because it is “not listed as a permitted use nor considered incidental or incidental to any residential use,” according to an official quoted in the Desert Sun article.
Is Dallas next?
The Dallas City Council and Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee recently spoke at length about short-term rental properties, but did not have specific discussions about pool-sharing platforms like Swimply.
Dallas regulates and inspects commercial pools, health club pools, hotel/motel pools and institutional pools, according to city code. While residents must obtain a permit to build a backyard pool in Dallas, it’s essentially up to them who they share it with.
Swimply maintains that it is operating within the law, and they are upping the ante. A new feature on the site announces that soon residents will be able to list even more things to share.
“From sports fields and large backyards to home gyms and music studios, we go beyond swimming pools to put the world’s awe-inspiring spaces at your fingertips,” the site says.
Customers can filter their pool searches by location and amenities such as heated pool, grill, hot tub, fire pit, pet-friendly, waterslide, restroom, and ADA-friendly. Diving boards are not listed as filters. Guests can choose indoor or outdoor, saltwater or chlorine pools.
Wisconsin officials entered the fray last year, alleging Swimply hosts were operating illegally and should obtain the same licenses and permits as those operating large public pools. They backed off when Swimply threatened to sue them.
Swimply hosts in the United States are covered by a $1 million liability insurance policy and $100,000 property protection coverage. Hosts should have their pools inspected for things like proper chlorine levels.
The platform launched in 2018 and struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, but revenue grew 4,000% after the platform was featured on the Mark Cuban Entrepreneur TV series. shark tank in 2020. Swimply makes money by taking a 15% commission on rental fees.