Swimming Pool Lift Device – Letter to the Editor

August 2022

Can the Board of Directors install a pool lift device for people with disabilities without a vote?

If so, is it safe to install a pool lift device for people with disabilities without a lifeguard in a small condominium swimming pool in Toronto?  How will this impact on condo fees and insurance?

Thank you,

J. B.

Response from Toronto Condo News

It appears that you disagree with your condo board’s consideration of installing a pool lift device for people with disabilities.

A pool lift device is a lifestyle consideration.  While not used by everyone, it can be important to those who require assistance entering and exiting a swimming pool.  Where only one or two individuals are likely to make infrequent use of the lift, it may not be a practical consideration for a condominium swimming pool.

A condo board of directors has authority to install a pool lift device for people with disabilities.  No vote of owners is required unless it is a “large” expenditure as defined in the Condo Act, which is unlikely.

If they should do so is another matter.  The decision depends on factors including building demographics, space considerations, resident support, use of the facility, other planned expenditures and impact on condo fees.  An important consideration may be that most condominium swimming pools are unattended.  Individuals requiring use of a pool lift device likely require assistance getting into and out of a harness, and someone to operate it.  This may not be practical in a residential community setting with an unattended swimming pool.

Swimming pool lift devices are more typically found in specialized facilities with staff trained to both use the device and assist those who need it.  They may also be found in private swimming pools under more controlled circumstances for use by specific individuals.

Your condo board should consult their insurance company for impact on corporation insurance, and legal counsel for liability risk, if installing a lift is a serious consideration.  They can obtain installation and maintenance costs to determine the impact on condo fees.

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