Home Internet Wisconsin backs down on regulating swimming pool rental app

Wisconsin backs down on regulating swimming pool rental app

by Mary Sewell

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“However, whether any particular pool would be subject to public pool licensing requirements would depend on the facts of the situation for each individual pool,” agency attorney Sheri Walz wrote.

Simply co-founder Asher Weinberger, its chief operating officer, said Wednesday he was “thrilled” with the change in direction. And Luke Berg, an attorney with the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty that represented the startup, said they were grateful that state regulators “took a reasonable approach in their review of their regulations and confirmed that Swimply can legally operate in Wisconsin.”

An official with the regulatory agency in April cited a Wisconsin law to Simply that says a pool becomes public and subject to licensing if used regularly by people other than the residents where it’s located.

Simply argued that the state misunderstood the law, inconsistently applied it and exceeded its regulatory authority. Wisconsin was the first state to push back against Simply, which started in 2018 with four pools in New Jersey but has taken off during the pandemic as more people looked for private spaces to swim and have fun. The business works like an Airbnb for swimming pools, with private homeowners listing their collections on the website and app.

Swimply’s attorneys threatened in July to file a lawsuit if the state didn’t back off. Wisconsin was the only state that had challenged Swimply or that the business has threatened to sue, said WILL spokeswoman Erin Collins.

Most of the pools on Swimply are in warm weather locations, but it recently entered the Wisconsin market.

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