Rules for using community swimming pools in Portugal

10 July 2019, Redaction

Anyone who has a shared swimming pool for all the people in their apartment building in Portugal knows what a delight it can be to cool off in the summertime, but you have to bear in mind that there are certain precautions to take and rules to follow. These rules must be included in the condominium's regulations and be known by and available to all the homeowners who live there.

Today, with the help of the Portuguese consumer rights watchdog DECO - Associação Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor, idealista/news looks at the main rules for using a communal swimming pool in Portugal. Send your question to Deco, by email to or by telephone to 00 351 21 371 02 20.

I would like to know if there are any rules of conduct for the use of a common pool in Portugal. In other words, should people who live in a condominium with a swimming pool comply with rules or is there no such obligation?

The answer is very simple. Yes, there are rules of conduct that should be included in the condominium regulations and that should be known to all property owners there.

The use of swimming pools in the apartment block cannot cause situations of conflict or accidents, so it is necessary to ensure maintenance and care are duly observed.

In the first place, we inform you that the rules for accessing the swimming pool must be met. This includes the fact that it is exclusively for the sole use of the homeowners but may be frequented by friends and relatives, depending on what is written in the official building codes. The facilities may be used for some events, for example, birthday parties, but access can be forbidden on certain days or at certain times for maintenance purposes. Hygiene and safety regulations must be strictly adhered to.

The building manager of a condo with a swimming pool in Portugal must be aware of the restricted behaviour during the use of the pool and should be able to guide and instruct property owners who use it, including any young children who are accompanied to the pool.

Here are some basic rules for the sensible use of this space, although the official rules and regulations of the apartment building should be consulted if there is any doubt:

  • Do not let children run around the pool. This helps to avoid serious falls. Pushing and diving in the water should be prohibited without exception;
  • Discourage loud screaming and shouting that may make it difficult to hear if someone is calling for help and thus prevent a timely rescue;
  • Avoid the use of floats and mattresses as they can flip over or break and lead to dangerous situations;
  • Never enter the pool if there are storms or thunderstorms;
  • Do not leave toys or other objects near the pool or in the water. Other children may see them and want to catch them and then fall into the pool;
  • Do not allow children to play near open pools. It is advisable to erect a physical barrier with an automatic safety closure to separate the pool from the neighbouring gardens or buildings, to avoid accidental falls and possible drowning;
  • Do not let children use floats or armbands which are not properly approved according to EU standards;
  • Never leave children in swimming pools without adult supervision;
  • Discourage playing with the pool's electrical equipment. They must be adequately protected by automatic power cutting systems and kept out of reach of children at all times.
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