Can You Have a Hot Tub in an Apartment?

hot tub apartment lg

Who wouldn’t like a hot tub in their backyard? But if you live in an apartment, is that even possible? Can you have a hot tub in an apartment?

Here’s what I know from looking into it:

As a general rule, most apartment complexes will not allow a hot tub due to the liability potential from water damage. Additionally, 2nd-floor balconies may not structurally support the weight of a fully-loaded hot tub.

Now, if you are ground-level and have a decent-sized patio, I might well consider an inflatable hot tub.

But for 2nd (or above) floor balconies, if your complex allows it, or you just want to do it anyway, the best thing is to get a structural engineer to inspect the potential site and confirm that it’s indeed suitable.

In this article, we’ll explore fencing requirements, weight, insurance requirements, and much more. We’ll also check out whether most apartments allow hot tubs, and lastly, we’ll look at the best inflatable hot tub.

Let’s dive right in…

Is a patio fence enough for a hot tub?

A patio fence is typically not enough for a hot tub from a legal standpoint. The requirement for a fence around a hot tub varies from state to state, but according to the CDC, fences must, at the minimum, be 42″ high and patio fences are often 36″.

Before we look at some of the requirements, what’s the reason for having a fence in the first place?

The underlying motivation is safety and saving lives.

Every year, hundreds of kids die in pools and hot tubs. Drowning in pools is more common. What makes it particularly saddening is that 67% of those deaths are toddlers!

The CDC guidelines list some of the following as criteria:

  • Fences, gates, doors, and safety covers should be used to prevent access to water
  • Barriers do not have nearby furniture to encourage climbing
  • Gates, self-latching locks, and other locks are tested to function properly
  • Barriers should be used between chemical storage and mechanical areas
  • Minimum of 42″ high

Considering the vital purpose for which it’s meant, a patio fence is not enough. Fortunately, you can easily conform to what the law requires as adequate in your state.

Can I put a hot tub on my patio?

You can put a hot tub on a ground floor concrete patio as long as it is level, and is large enough to allow 1-2 feet of clearance on at least 2 sides.

To support a hot tub, the concrete should be at least 4 inches thick. If it’s brand new concrete, plan to wait at least 28 days to allow it to fully cure.

If you have a wooden deck, you can also put a hot tub on there, but you may need to reinforce the deck.

Typically decks that are less than 2 feet off the ground don’t need additional support. But ones more than 2 feet off the ground ideally need added support braces no more than 30 inches apart.

But what about inflatable hot tubs?

To compute how much an inflatable hot tub weighs, check out a recent article of mine. 

In it, I explained that one can put a hot tub on a deck. But, there’s a need to be careful if the deck is more than two feet off the ground, even if the hot tub is inflatable.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is a hot tub covered under renter’s insurance?

Most renter’s insurance policies only cover water damage caused by “perils” such as weather or malicious activity and would not cover damage from a hot tub leak. However, if you select an all-perils policy, that should cover hot tubs.

But check with your insurance company to be sure.

Renter’s insurance does not automatically cover hot tubs. If yours doesn’t, you could add it. It’s very important to be proactive about this issue. Don’t wait till there’s a mishap because some policies can be surprising.

Some mishaps that you’ll assume are covered may not be, even though it is called hot tub insurance. There are nuances one must pay attention to.

Fortunately, some insurance companies have what’s known as an umbrella policy which covers a lot and, on average, is not expensive. It’s between $150-$300/month.

Discuss it with your insurance agent to see if it covers most of the relevant scenarios that come with owning a hot tub, paying attention to your peculiar circumstances.

So, you’re considering an inflatable hot tub?

Cool. You’ve probably wondered whether inflatable hot tubs are expensive to run? You’re in luck because that is the theme of a recent article of mine.

In it, I explained that relative to regular hot tubs, they are more expensive to run. They’ll set you back about $50 each month for the electricity bill. Check out the article to get the full lowdown.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do most apartments allow hot tubs?

Most apartment complexes do not allow hot tubs due to the liability from possible leaks and the water damage that could be caused.

So to be sure, and stay above-board, check your rental agreement or ask.

Now, if you want to fly under the radar, that’s on you. And if you have a large ground-level patio that can be shielded from prying eyes, you’ll probably be fine.

But if you have an apartment on an upper floor, there could be a lot more problems than just an angry apartment manager.

So never just put a hot tub (even an inflatable) on an upstairs balcony without getting a professional’s opinion.

This is best done by engaging a structural engineer to inspect and confirm the site is adequate.

Without knowing if the balcony can take the weight, there’s the possibility that it could be too heavy for the part of the building where it is placed, leading to collapse! Or, water could gradually damage the part of the building where it’s kept.

Can you discard the hot tub water anywhere?

Not so fast. Check out a recent article of mine where I explained why it’s not ideal to simply pour the water anywhere. It contains harmful chemicals that could kill your grass or discolor a well-kept lawn.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is the best inflatable hot tub for an apartment?

The Intex Pure Spa is the best inflatable hot tub for an apartment ground-floor patio. It has a built-in hard water treatment system, and it is easy and fast to set up. It comes with an easy-to-use control panel, and it has up to 140 water jets for producing a highly soothing spa experience.

It can be set up and ready for water in about 20 minutes. CLICK HERE to check it out on Amazon.

So, it’s awesome if you don’t want a tub that’ll permanently take up space, or if you move around now and then, and you want a “mobile hot tub” experience. It’s relaxation at the touch of a button. It’s built using patented technology ( “Fiber-Tech Construction). It weighs 101.8 pounds.

Let me share a list of its features. So, you’ll know why it’s Amazon’s choice product with over 1600 ratings, and most are 5-star. It’s also the one I bought to travel in my RV with me.

  • Built-in infiltration system
  • Color-changing LED light to create an alluring ambiance
  • 2 headrests
  • Puncture-resistant 3-ply laminated material 
  • Easy-to-use, tilt-adjustable control panel
  • Insulated cover to minimize heat loss
  • Insulated ground cloth

CLICK HERE to check it out on Amazon.

Conclusion

Can you have a hot tub at an apartment?

That’s the main theme we explored in this article. We checked whether a patio fence is enough, if you can put your hot tub on a patio and whether a hot tub is covered under the renter’s agreement.

We then looked at whether most apartments allow hot tubs. Lastly, we checked out what is the best inflatable hot tub.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, hot tub lover, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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