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Property Management Tips

The Importance of a Hold Harmless Clause When You Have a Pool or Jacuzzi on Your Property

  • June 6 2024
  • Angel Host

Short-term vacation rental properties with attractive amenities like pools or jacuzzis can significantly enhance the guest experience and make your property more appealing. However, these water features also come with inherent risks that can lead to accidents or injuries. As a property owner/manager, it's crucial to take steps to protect yourself from potential legal and financial liabilities. One effective way to do this is by incorporating an indemnity or hold harmless clause in your rental agreement.

Understanding the Risks

Pools and jacuzzis, while offering relaxation and enjoyment, are also environments where accidents can easily occur. Slip-and-fall incidents are common around wet surfaces, and the risk of drowning or other water-related injuries is ever-present. Even with strict safety measures in place, these amenities can still pose significant hazards.

For example, a child left unsupervised near a pool can quickly find themselves in a dangerous situation. Similarly, improper use of a jacuzzi, such as exceeding the maximum capacity or ignoring health guidelines, can result in serious injuries. These scenarios underline the importance of making guests aware of the risks and ensuring that they use these amenities responsibly.

Legal and Financial Implications

Without proper legal protection, property owners could find themselves facing substantial legal and financial repercussions if a guest is injured while using the pool or jacuzzi. Medical expenses, legal fees, and potential compensation claims can quickly add up, putting a significant strain on your resources. An indemnity or hold harmless clause in the rental agreement is a key safeguard against these potential liabilities.

What is a Hold Harmless Clause?

An indemnity or “hold harmless” clause (a.k.a. indemnity agreement or liability waiver) is a legal provision where one party agrees to assume liability for certain risks, protecting the other party from being held responsible. In the context of vacation rentals, this clause typically requires guests to acknowledge the risks associated with using the pool or jacuzzi and to agree not to hold the property owner liable for any accidents or injuries that may occur.

Example Clause

Here's an example of what such a clause might look like:

  • Guest acknowledges and agrees that the use of the swimming pool and jacuzzi is at their own risk and agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the Property Owner, their agents, heirs, successors, and assigns from and against any and all liabilities, claims, damages, expenses (including, but not limited to, legal fees and charges), and harms arising from or related to the use of the swimming pool and jacuzzi during the duration of their stay.

Benefits of the Clause

  1. Legal Protection. The primary benefit of an indemnity clause is that it provides a layer of legal protection for the property owner. Should an incident occur, this clause can significantly reduce the likelihood of the owner being held financially responsible.
  3. Guest Awareness. Including this clause in the rental agreement also serves to raise awareness among guests about the risks associated with using pools and jacuzzis. This can lead to more cautious and responsible behavior, reducing the likelihood of accidents.
  5. Promoting Safety. Foster a safer environment for guests by discussing safety measures and the importance of responsible use upfront. This includes emphasizing the need for adult supervision of children, adherence to posted rules and capacity limits, and proper use of safety equipment.

Implementing the Clause

To effectively implement an indemnity or hold harmless clause, consider the following steps:

  1. Consult a Legal Professional. It's important to have the clause drafted or reviewed by a legal professional to ensure it is enforceable and tailored to your specific situation.
  2. Have Clear Communication. Make sure the clause is clearly communicated to guests before they finalize their booking. This can be done through the rental agreement, which guests should read and sign prior to their stay.
  3. Provide Safety Information. Provide guests with detailed safety information and guidelines for using the pool and jacuzzi. This can include written instructions, posted and visible safety signage, and verbal briefings upon arrival.


Incorporating an indemnity or hold harmless clause in your vacation rental agreement is a crucial step in managing the risks associated with pools and jacuzzis. This legal provision protects property owners from potential liabilities while encouraging safe and responsible guest behaviour during their stay. By raising awareness of the risks and promoting a culture of safety, you can help ensure a positive and secure experience for all guests while safeguarding your interests.