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By Divyanshi Dwivedi and Ray L. Flores II, Esq.
As COVID vaccine mandates become more prevalent — they already exist for some workplaces, schools, universities, airports and even dine-in restaurants — there are increased expectations that more mandates will ensue.
But can your landlord evict you if you refuse to get the vaccine?
A landlord-tenant relationship is a contractual one, usually governed by local law and the terms of the lease. Landlords and property managers must comply with the implied warranty of habitability for residential tenants.
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A landlord may exploit the provisions of the lease by asking for proof of vaccination under the pretext of maintaining a safe and habitable environment for all.
However, because vaccinated people can become infected with and transmit COVID to others, the “safe and habitable environment” argument should be moot.
In theory, asking for proof of vaccination or evicting a tenant based on vaccination status blatantly invades one’s constitutional right to privacy.
However, while a tenant is under no obligation to disclose his/her vaccination status, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) doesn’t apply in landlord-tenant relationships because the law protects confidentiality only when healthcare providers, employers or insurance companies are involved.
At the federal level, the federal Fair Housing Act contains protections against discrimination by landlords on the basis of race, religion, gender or disability.
Therefore, a landlord who attempts to evict a tenant who refuses to take a vaccine based on a sincerely held religious belief, or a disability, could be exposed to liability under this law.
This law may also apply if a landlord refuses to lease a property to a new tenant based on vaccine status.
Requiring the vaccine also could expose a landlord to civil liability for violating a host of civil rights. On a purely contractual level, such a requirement could run afoul of the covenant of quiet enjoyment.
In some cases, your landlord’s right to require you be vaccinated for COVID may depend on state laws, which differ.
Florida, for example, has laws that make it clear businesses, including landlords, would violate the governor’s executive order by requiring “patrons or customers” to provide proof of vaccination. Florida law carries a $5,000 fine for each violation.
Some states have explicitly enacted anti-discrimination laws. Montana, for instance, enacted a COVID-19 anti-discrimination law prohibiting public and private entities from refusing “services, goods, facilities, advantages, privileges, licensing, educational opportunities, healthcare access, or employment opportunities based on [a] person’s vaccination status or whether [a] person has an immunity passport.”
In our opinion, a person cannot be evicted or denied housing based on their vaccine status. Doing so invades the fundamental right of privacy, the right to make medical decisions for their family (which includes refusal to receive unwanted medical treatments) and ultimately interferes with their medical freedom.
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That said, this is uncharted territory as there is no robust, national regulatory scheme yet in place. That means it is possible that in the near future, refusing to comply with a landlord’s vaccination requirement may result in eviction proceedings.
However, until this issue reaches the footsteps of a higher court, a landlord should restrict enforcement of the contract to collecting rent, maximum elevator capacities, cleaning and sanitizing of common areas, etc., instead of infringing upon tenants’ rights by requiring them to be vaccinated.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for legal advice. If you have a particular legal issue, please contact an experienced attorney in your state.
© 2021 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!