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Rockland Homeowners Caught Renting Out Backyard Pools Could Face Steep Fines

POMONA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Would you let strangers use your backyard pool? Some homeowners are doing it to make extra cash.

They figure it's like Air BnB, but for pools. The problem is, in many places it's outlawed.

As CBS2's Dave Carlin reported, you can rent a house or even a room in one for a day or week these days, so why not pay a fee to use only the swimming pool.

Ad after ad in some community magazines and on internet sites including Pool For U, feature homeowners in New York and New Jersey offering up their backyard pools.

"I didn't even know this was going on," one man said.

"Well it's not good for the area," Zack added.

Those neighbors live on Chestnut Drive in Pomona, Rockland County near a home that has a pool with a seating area, and an umbrella.

It's the same one advertised on Pool For U for $65 on a weekday, and $85 on a weekend.

The New York-based company with the slogan, "Stay cool, rent a pool," has dozens of listing in the New York area, which include the pool's amenities, dimensions, depth and the number of chairs and bathrooms on site, WCBS 880's John Metaxas reported.

In Rockland County this is illegal.

"It's against the sanitary code. They can generate up to $2,000 per day fines, and beyond that we have a situation where no insurance company is going to indemnify you or support you should there be an injury at your home, so your insurance policy is wasted," county executive Ed Day said. 

Neighbors said it makes them nervous to see a swimming pool for a private residence so close to them advertised for rent.

"You're bringing strangers into the neighborhood, nobody wants that. you have your children outside," one man said.

The pool owner admitted he did it.

"It was, it's not rented out anymore," he said.

He said he stopped because he could not secure adequate insurance.

"It was legal if I have insurance," he said before a woman at the residence asked CBS2's news team to leave.

The founder of Pool For U, Bunim Laskin told CBS2 by phone that he does not understand why it's okay to rent out an entire home with a pool, but not the pool only.

He said he will talk with Rockland County Officials and leaders of other counties to try and negotiate ways to meet the insurance requirements and strict sanitary codes.

For now, those leaders seem to be saying, if you're counting on a wave of big changes to allow sharing pools don't hold your breath.

Rockland County has not yet enforced its ban on pool renting, saying it will do that once neighbors start lodging complaints.

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