Can Your Landlord Legally Require Proof of a COVID-19 Vaccine?
From the looks of it, being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could be the golden ticket to travel, concerts, and parties.
But could it ever be a requirement to keeping a half-decent roof above your head?
A Vancouver man took to Reddit to ask this very question this week, after his landlord requested proof of vaccination from him.
The Reddit user, who has received his first dose of the vaccine, claims that his landlord is demanding proof of this injection. He mentions that he lives in a basement unit in a house in which his landlord lives and asks fellow users to weigh in. The response was a collective NO WAY.
Geordie Dent, Executive Director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, confirms this is currently not allowed, nor can we expect it to become a reality.
“Landlords aren’t able to ask you about your private medical history and doing so could be a violation of your privacy,” says Dent. “As vaccinations are also being doled out based on age and other variables (currently), not renting to someone due to their age could be seen as human rights discrimination.”
At the same time, Tony Irwin, President and CEO of the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario stresses that keeping their residents and frontline staff safe in these times is the top priority.
“The Roadmap to Reopen plan recently announced by the Ontario government is tied to vaccination rates, so getting all Ontarians vaccinated remains a key focus for our members,” says Irwin. “Rental-housing providers continue to be informed by public health advice and guidance in determining appropriate operational plans and procedures.”
Still, this doesn’t mean residents will be legally obligated to flash their proof of vaccination.
“There may be situations where asking a resident to provide proof of vaccination is reasonable and appropriate for the health and safety of others; however residents are not required to provide this information,” says Irwin. “FRPO always encourages open communication between rental-housing providers and residents to achieve best outcomes.”
In the meantime, those who aren’t vaccinated can rest assured that they won’t lose their homes.
“If a landlord asks about your personal medical history you can tell them it’s none of their business,” says Dent.
There you have it.
As of June 2, some 2,202,980 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Toronto and the City is encouraging everyone age 12 years or older to book an appointment.