Bunuel wrote:

Real Estate Consultant: Apartment complexes make foolish financial decisions when they include swimming pools as amenities for their tenants. Pools are expensive to maintain and could be replaced by additional rent-generating housing units, while studies continue to show that less than 10% of tenants whose complexes have pools will use the pool in any given month.

Which of the following most undermines the consultant’s conclusion?

A. Studies show that more than half of prospective tenants say they would prefer to live in a complex that has a pool than in one that does not.

B. Swimming pool maintenance is often less expensive than other luxury amenities like concierge and valet parking services.

C. Nearly 75% of tenants who use their complex’s swimming pool at least once per month will use the swimming pool several times per month.

D. If tenants sign liability waivers when they sign their leases, apartment complexes can avoid the cost of employing lifeguards.

E. Tenants at apartment complexes with swimming pools often invite guests to use the pool, leading to complaints about excessive noise and a lack of available parking.

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:

Whenever you approach a Strengthen or Weaken question, it's a good idea to investigate the gap between the premises and the conclusion. Here the conclusion is that "pools are a foolish financial decision" and the premises are:

1) They're costly. 2) People don't use them very much.

Think about the gaps: in any financial conversation one should consider both costs and revenues, but this argument only considers the cost side. What if they're expensive but they generate more revenue than the costs? And then tenants don't use them frequently, but does that mean that they don't positively contribute financially? Perhaps they just enjoy the view out their windows, or like that it impresses their friends when they come to visit. The gap here equates "tenants don't use" with "it's not profitable." So given that this is a Weaken question, you should look in the answer choices for a reason that pools could be profitable for apartment complexes.

(A) provides exactly that: if prospective tenants would prefer a pool, then apartment complexes that have pool may have an easier time renting their units, or renting them for more money. (A) shows that there's a financial upside to having pools: the target market wants them. (A) is therefore correct.

(B) is incorrect: the premises already state that pools are expensive, so even if they cost less than other amenities it doesn't change the current proposition that pools are a poor investment. Maybe all those amenities are poor investments.

(C) is similarly incorrect in that it qualifies an existing premise (of those 10% who do use the pool, most are repeat users) but doesn't change the fact that the premise points out a negative (still not many people are using the pool!).

(D) is guilty of essentially the same mistake: it's already been established that pools are expensive, so suggesting a potential way to make them slightly less expensive doesn't change the value proposition already outlined in the argument.

And (E) misses the scope of the argument: other complaints that might arise from pools aren't necessarily pertinent to the financial discussion.

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