Homes aren’t the only thing being rented short-term in Palm Springs, elsewhere in Coachella Valley

Palm Springs residents lamenting the number of short-term home vacation rentals take note: Some of your neighbors are now renting out their pools.

Driving the news:  You already know you can rent out your home for a weekend and rent out your car to strangers. But now you can rent out your pool for an afternoon thanks to a company called  Swimply.

Details: The service is described as the “Airbnb of pools.” The website looks similar to Airbnb, you can see what neighborhood the pool is in, meet the host, see some pictures, and even pick out extra amenities like a fire pit or BBQ grill (those come with an extra fee of course).

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Local market: There are about 40 pools listed on Swimply in the Coachella Valley. Four are found in Palm Springs. Many of the pools appear to be newly listed, so those numbers may grow as the temperature rises over the summer.

  • To date, the city hasn’t chosen to require pool renters to register. But that might be because the service hasn’t caught the eye of anyone at City Hall and code enforcement hasn’t been called to any of the pools.

What they’re saying: Heather Carson lives in Los Angeles, and she recently bought a midcentury modern home in Palm Springs. She’s been renting the home on Airbnb since February of this year, and just decided to put her pool up on Swimply as well.

  • “I put it up on there maybe a week ago and immediately got one booking, and another one right after that. There’s a lot of demand!”

Carson says she likes the extra income that’s helping her pay for the midcentury masterpiece, but there’s more to it than that.

  • “I fundamentally believe in the idea of the ‘sharing economy’ even if it’s just a little income, I like knowing that someone is enjoying the pool instead of just having it sit there.”

Bottom line : The pools are rented by the hour and most local pools are being rented for about $45 an hour, with some asking for as much as $100 an hour.

But wait: What about … bathrooms? Swimply says it’s optional to open up your home’s bathroom to your guests, but if you choose not to you can rent a Porta Potty through the app.

What next: Swimply isn’t stopping at renting out pools. The company wants you to rent out your backyard, basketball court, and even your indoor gym.


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