Swimming Pools

Is anybody having a problem with the requirement that we can only use our swimming pool if we have lifeguard ?

We have 24 units - half are empty and less than half of the rest use the pool

less than 10 of us yet they want us to have a lifeguard !

I'd it done sort of cruel joke or a money making scam ?

It's no joke... it is however the law .. and I agree it's impractical but having said that there has been some incidents in hotel pools recently, one of them fatal involving a 3 yo child ....and that may well lead to further action and enforcement .. I know some complexes have had the visit by authorities ...

Apartment swimming pools

Under the laws of Cyprus, swimming pools in apartment and other residential complexes are considered to be “public swimming pools” and their operation is governed by the stringent laws and regulations governing their licensing and use. (The law dates to 1992 and is well past its sell by date.)

This has significant legal and financial implications for the Management Committees and the owners of these complexes.

Regardless of the size of the pool or the number of units on the complex, a lifeguard must be on hand when the pool is in use. To achieve this level of cover, it's likely that two lifeguards would be needed at a cost in the region of €30,000/annum. Some larger complexes have two and occasionally three pools, each needing two lifeguards and their cost would be astronomical. (In reality there are not enough trained lifeguards in Cyprus to service the demand.)

To operate these pools an annual operating licence is required, which costs around €85 – and the pool equipment needs to be checked to ensure it meets safety requirements – another cost.

Anyone operating a pool without a licence or who acts contrary to the regulations, which includes lifeguarding, is guilty of a criminal offence. The offender faces a fine of up to €450 and, if the offence continues after conviction, they face an additional fine of €50/day for each day the offence continues.

In the past, authorities have turned a blind eye to the problem, which resulted in many pools being operated without a licence. But a couple of years ago the authorities in Paphos cracked-down; the municipality's health inspectors discovered more than 170 swimming pools operating without a licence and served owners and tenants of these apartments with notices stating they were operating public swimming pools without licenses.

Management Committees had no option but to close their pools or face the consequences.. This issue was brought up at a meeting with the Interior Ministry in 2007. In 2011 MEP Arlene McCarthy raised the problem with the European Commission. And although new law was proposed in 2015, no progress has been made.

In 2008 a European Standards for swimming pools was introduced (EN 15288-1 and EN 15288-2) that classifies communal pools, such as those for in apartment complexes, according to their size and usage.

Complexes that share a pool for the use of the property owners, their families and guests are classed as Type 3 swimming pools, making it subject to different standards than a public swimming pool and would therefore not require lifeguards, etc.

However, for reasons best known to themselves, the Cyprus government has not implemented these EU regulations that would remove the need for lifeguards at a stroke.

Further to the above ...

EU legislation is entirely voluntary and not mandatory... Cyprus in their wisdom decided not to implement it. The current Cyprus pool legislation is antiquated dating back to 1992 and amended in 1996 but it really doesnt reflect todays position

My research to date indicates that to get a licence operators need to have the following in order to make the application which is subject to a site visit to complete an inspection for compliance.

A site plan

A fully authorised building permit

Electrical installation certification

Mechanical installation certification

Heath dept and sanitation certification

Details of the pool maintenance program and records

Lifeguard certification including name ID etc of lifeguard and operating hours of pool.

Male and female toilet facilities

Male and female shower facilities


Appropriate safety signage

It depends on where you are. In the Municipality of Paphos who will physically inspect the complex and the lifeguard needs to be present and show them his/her qualification/registration documents and first aid qualification document. These also need to be submitted beforehand for the licence application.

On one complex they employed a lifeguard for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week (from May to September). The hours were 9am to 1pm. This was found to be perfectly acceptable for the licence but the lifeguard must be there at the time of the inspection. Unfortunately in this case the inspector turned up at 1.30 and would not approve the application. So they extended the hours to 2pm and reapplied and at the next inspection got lucky!

Other complexes in areas outside of Paphos Municipality who have had their inspection and application passed without the lifeguard being present so a lifeguard name and qualifications on the application was all that was needed to get the pool licence issued.

It's an absolute shambles and you just need to do whatever it takes to get the licence - no one seems to care after that whether you have the lifeguard on duty for whatever hours or in fact at all.

There are things that many may wish to consider doing to at least demonstrate that you as operators of a public pool are doing as much as is possible to keep within the law and current legislation.

Lock controlled security gates and fences to keep the general public out on what are generally residential properties

Signage indicating pool operating times in multiple languages ( generally English greek russian) instructing that the pool must not be used if a lifeguard is not in attendance.

Maybe if complexes have owners who are prepared to do the lifeguard and first aid training and to act as lifeguards is an option. Maybe the complex can pay for the training

May be some complexes have empty units that could be offered as accommodation to trained certificated lifeguards in exchange for their services. Maybe some digital nomads might consider this as an option.

Maybe two or three complexes that are close by could share lifeguard services between them and limit the season pool use to keep costs down to an affordable level.

Not sure how legal or acceptable this is but it's worth exploring and better to try and meet the obligations even if it is limited by realities

The whole business is a bloody joke, We have purchased a house on a very well maintained complex with a beautiful pool just outside our back terrace, that's what we loved about our house and why we decided to buy it. Without that facility the value of our home would probably decrease by €30.000 . We purchased a house with a pool not without it !

We have 2 pools on our complex so we have to pay €60.000 a year to use our pool I am guessing, if we need 2 lifeguards!

So what happens if a child god forbid drowns in the sea! Are there going to be lifeguards employed every half mile along the coastline.

Sorry none of it makes sense to me. We have grandchildren who will be coming out this year on holiday and as grandparents we will be responsible for their safety as well as their parents! Responsible Adults !

I agree the law as it stands was made 30 years ago and is farcical and unrealistic.. but sadly it is the law ....

Cyprus will never ever see the number of lifeguards needed to comply..... And even if it did most complexes would find it difficult to afford them....

Common sense does seem to have disappeared and CyGov seem to have just ignored the whole subject

NB there is a petition which has been going for quite a few years and needs to reach 8000 to be able to get it to ministers for discussion in order the get changes. It's sitting at 5836 currently

Here is the link to it

https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ca … sorts.html

Thanks for the link Toon, we have both signed the petition.

Am as much in the same position as you but the committee and property management company have to act within the law even if it is a farce ......

Thanks for signing

This was the requirements from Peyia Municipality in 2018.. . I doubt very much if it has changed ...although there may be some changes if the new law for jointly owned buildings gets approved at some stage this year .. or next ... Or next

A person visited Peyia Municipality and spoke at length with the Executive Engineer with regards to communal pool compliance and certification.

She confirmed the following points and provided the application forms.

Please note each pool on a complex requires compliance whatever size the pool is.

For each pool you are currently required to provide the following.

1. Architectural drawings of the pool(s) and its associated facilities, ie toilets, showers etc.

2. Certificate(s) of Lifeguards

3. Photographs of pool(s)

4. The completion of paperwork by a mechanical engineer regarding the pool(s) mechanics.

5. Lifeguard(s) needs to confirm hours of work, ID, Social Insurance details and address.

6. Medical certificate from Lifeguard(s)

7. Water Analysis test.

8. Letter from complex chairman authorising all of above is in place.

She also mentioned that pool fencing is to be 1.10m high and that having just a lifeguard certificate is not acceptable.

It seems that our municipality as promoting the idea of residents on complexes training to be lifeguards as the answer to a farcical law from 30+ years ago



We are on a development of 17 houses built by Pafilia. We have now also been told we need the licence and because our pool doesn't have fencing we also need to do this.

Our title deeds have been issued so in theory the builders haven't completed the build because they haven't put fencing around the pool.  Why should the owners have to pay for this.

We think the builders should finish the pool to meet the law from 1996.

I totally agree with you ...but then the municipality signed these properties off as completed.. Estate Agents sold them to you ignoring disclosure of legal requirements,  sellers did too.  Lawyers should have identified the illegalities as well.

None of them  did ... and still dont to this day ..I've witnessed first hand what estate agents say to prospective buyers and I've asked estate agents about it they all ignore or deny knowledge of the law.

Have you taken this matter as a collective up with Pafilia ...it would be interesting to know their response