By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – In the midst of a grueling South Florida summer, new Swimply application offers a cool and refreshing service to beat the heat. Launched July 22nd, Swimply is an app that provides a platform for homeowners to rent out their pools by the hour.
Founded by 22-year-old Bunim Laskin, Swimply is the first-ever online marketplace for pool sharing. Similar to the Airbnb business model, the website and app connect private pool owners to aquatic-seeking renters. Interested renters can view available pools, reviews and book directly via Swimply.com.
“Owning a pool can be expensive, enjoying one doesn’t have to be,” said Bunim Laskin, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Swimply. “We are seeking to democratize the pool experience so that everyone can enjoy an instant escape from reality, even if it’s just to another backyard down the street.”
Owners are able to post a customized listing of their pool and amenities such as a barbeque grill, waterslide, lounge chairs or pool toys. Owners also list their rental availability, rules and prices. Swimply boasts a transaction guarantee within 24 hours of the reservation. The average pool costs $45 an hour and Swimply takes a fifteen percent fee.
“Some people are making real money,” said co-founder Asher Weinberger. “Some hosts are making over $10,000 per month.”
Swimply is partnering with local pool companies to have an inspector do a safety and hygiene check before any pool is listed. The website also has a 24/7 support team available to assist hosts with any inquiries including photography, description and appropriate pricing. They can also help arrange portable restrooms for hosts who don’t want guests coming inside their residences.
“The main thing we’re focused on is families,” said Laskin. “No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can just pick up your phone and find yourself somewhere awesome an hour later.”
Pool listings are currently available in twenty states, including Florida and as well as Canada and Australia. In Miami Beach, there have been restrictions on property owners operating short-term rentals.
Miami Beach Chief Deputy City Attorney Aleksandr Boksner wrote in an email to Bisnow that in order for home owners to legally rent their pools out, the owner of the property must have a city business tax receipt and resort tax registration certificate.
Additionally, they must reside in a zoning district that allows temporary rentals to rent out a pool, since that zoning applies to “any portion of a residential premises.”
“Equally important, a hosting platform is legally prohibited from displaying those listings for residential properties that fail to properly disclose (and clearly identify) the property owner’s City-issued business tax receipt and resort tax account registration number for the individual listing,” he wrote.
“Therefore, the City will consider any transient listing(s) for the utilization of a room(s), accessories, or portions of a residential structure that is part of a larger private, residential dwelling to be patently illegal, and in violation of the City’s Code of Laws and Ordinances pertaining to the unlawful short-term rental of the property.”