Is it mandatory to have a lifeguard at the community pool?

socorrista en una piscina de comunidad de vecinos

(Updated 7/7/22)


During the summer months, one of the most common doubts for communities of owners is whether or not it’s mandatory to hire a lifeguard service for the swimming pool.

As far as the regulations on swimming pools are concerned, there’s controversy as there’s no common criteria that establish whether the swimming pools of Communities of Owners are considered public or private pools. This aspect is important as it will be up to each Autonomous Community to establish its own regulations and even local councils decide on this.

For example, in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Castilla and León and Murcia, community swimming pools are not considered public pools and are excluded from their laws. But in other Autonomous Communities, whether they’re classified as public or not depends on the number of properties.

In Galicia, Cantabria, the Basque Country, Navarre and Andalusia, the only public swimming pool regulations that must be complied with are those in communities with more than 20 properties.

In Madrid, if there are more than 30 properties.

In the Valencian Community, all those with a capacity of less than 100 people are excluded.

When is it mandatory to hire a lifeguard?

Although swimming pool regulations also govern capacity, opening hours and water safety standards, today we’ll focus on whether or not it’s necessary to hire a lifeguard.

And we’d like to remind you that even if it’s not mandatory, it can be a good idea to hire one for the hours when the pool is in use.

There’s no national regulation governing the need to hire a lifeguard, so we must consult the regulations in our autonomous community.

Community of Madrid and Lifeguards

In the Community of Madrid it will only be compulsory if the Community of Owners has more than 30 properties. And we quote verbatim:

Exclusion regarding the presence of a lifeguard: It applies in both regulations, in swimming pools for shared use in Communities of Owners with up to a maximum of 30 properties.

Valencian Community and Lifeguards

On the other hand, in Catalonia or the Valencian Community, it is only obligatory to have a lifeguard in swimming pools of more than 200 square metres. If the pool area is between 200 and 500 square metres, it would be necessary to hire at least one lifeguard. If it is between 500 and 1,000 square metres, at least two lifeguards would be required. And from 1,000 square metres, for every additional 500 metres it would be necessary to hire an additional lifeguard.

Andalusia and the need to hire lifeguards

Similarly, in Andalusia, it’s mandatory to have a lifeguard in swimming pools with a surface area of 200 square metres or more. Two lifeguards in facilities with a water surface area of between 500 and 1,000 square metres, and one more for each pool or fraction of 500 square metres.

Murcia and Lifeguards

There is a decree [Excluded from the decree are private swimming pools and water areas belonging to communities of owners that have a surface area equal to or less than 250 square metres], which regulates the obligation of having 1 lifeguard in swimming pools. In addition, there must be 1 additional lifeguard for every 500 square metres of bathing area.

Having a lifeguard during the summer will be the best decision for your Community of Owners. Of course, it’s not always mandatory.

If you want us to put you in touch with lifeguard professionals for your community, at Mediterráneo we’ve created MiServ, a platform to find professionals for your home or community. It takes less than 10 minutes to find the best professional in your area.

Find out the health measures applicable for the opening community pools in summer 2022

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