As a renter, you may have to abide by certain rules – including getting a vaccination.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, many companies are hoping to protect employees and limit the spread of the virus by enforcing vaccine mandates. To be clear, this is something that employers are legally allowed to do, although they generally have to make exceptions and/or accommodations for those who cannot get the vaccination for religious or health reasons.
But it’s not just employers who enforce vaccine rules. The owners set out on a similar path.
In September, a Florida landlord caused an uproar by requiring tenants to show proof of a vaccine or refusing to renew their lease. The question is: Can the landlord require you to get a vaccine? And what happens if that’s not a step you want to take?
Local rules apply
Whether your landlord can request proof of a COVID-19 vaccine depends on your state of residence. In most countries, the owners Act You have the right to request proof of vaccination before signing or renewing the lease. But this does not necessarily mean that landlords can demand such proof in the middle of a lease or evict tenants on the grounds of not being vaccinated.
When you sign a home lease, you are entering into a contract. You are required to abide by the terms of this contract. If this contract says you must provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, that’s a condition you’ll need to meet to sign or renew a lease. But if you’re renting under an existing lease without those specifications, you may not have to take action until it’s time to renew your lease.
Of course, just as businesses are required to provide exemptions or accommodations for religious or health restrictions, so owners generally have to do the same. But here, the laws get tricky, because in some cases, it can be hard to determine what constitutes a valid constraint.
What to do if you have not been vaccinated and the owner asks for it
In general, the reason why landlords want proof of vaccinations is to protect their tenants. If your lack of a vaccine is a concern but you don’t want an injection and don’t qualify for an exemption, you may want to talk to your landlord if your lease is up for renewal. Your landlord, for example, may agree to waive this requirement if you are willing to cover up in all public areas of your building or get tested regularly for COVID-19.
Of course, as a tenant, you should not hesitate to consult a lawyer if you feel that your rights are being violated, or if you want to better understand what they are. Landlord and tenant laws can vary from state to state, so it’s not a good idea to arm yourself with information.
Moreover, while more owners may now need COVID-19 vaccines, many of them are not. If you don’t want a chance, there is a good chance that you will be able to find a lease elsewhere without this authorization.
True, this could mean having to move to a more expensive home. And that could mean having to dip into your savings to make the transition easier. But either way, for the most part, renters who don’t want to follow their landlords vaccination instructions have a few options.