I earned €150 a month with my French home’s pool
It is only November but one home-owner is already thinking of next summer and her swimming pool – and how to rent it out after earning €150 a month doing just that this year.
Marie-Eve Appel, who lives in Bordeaux, was told about a company that could help her make money from her pool after grumbling to a work colleague about it being unused when she was at work.
Swimmy (swimmy.fr) rents out private swimming pools for people to use for up to four hours at a time.
Ms Appel said: “I love my pool and it seemed a bit strange at first (the idea of strangers using it).
“However, I thought about it, before putting my pool on the site at the start of August 2018.
“I had one rental that year, and this year started getting people coming from May. It is a bit of work because I make sure everything is clean and neat and correct, and make an effort to have flowers in the garden, but everything has gone well.
“When I am at work, I leave the keys with a friend. I have had no problems.
“The fact that it is an open platform where you can write about the renters and they can write about you is good.
“You are free to accept bookings or not. Once or twice I turned people away because I had family over.”
Having people use her pool has meant an unexpected and enjoyable return to the beach.
“I love the sea but since I have had the swimming pool, have not gone nearly so much,” she said.
“A few times the pool has been rented so I have gone to the beach instead, and really enjoyed it.”
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An afternoon enjoying a friend’s swimming pool and the realisation that neighbours’ back gardens were empty a lot of the time led to Swimmy being set up in France in 2017 by Raphaëlle de Monteynard.
“It seemed a pity, and from there we started talking about Airbnb and decided that we could do a similar thing with pools,” she said.
Ms de Monteynard said most of the people renting out see it as a way of recouping running costs.
“We do have one renter who has made €7,000 in a year but that is the exception,” she said.
Of the 8,000 rentals to the end of July this year, she said 99.8% have gone without incident.
“Our belief is to share happiness, and I am happy to say most users have adopted that spirit,” she said.
When the site was launched, most of the pools were in the suburbs of cities in the south but the number in the centre and north and in smaller towns and villages has increased.
Each rental is insured and the site makes its money by charging a 12% commission.
Prices charged for four hours average €15 per adult, with half price for children aged three to 10, and under-threes free.
The site shows photographs of the pools and lists the facilities.