MONEY CLINIC | Can a landlord make vaccination a condition in a lease agreement?

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Current market dynamics highlight that it is a tenant’s market, high vacancies and low escalations.
Current market dynamics highlight that it is a tenant’s market, high vacancies and low escalations.
Aitor Diago

A Fin24 reader wants to know if a landlord can make vaccination a requirement for a residential lease.

He writes:

Can a landlord make vaccination a condition in a lease agreement?

Michelle Dickens, Chief Executive Officer at TPN Credit Bureau responds

The National State of Disaster Regulations specifically regulates Rental Housing and Evictions during the various alert levels. These Regulations are in addition to the Rental Housing Act and provincial Unfair Practice Regulations.   

Effectively, tenants are protected from being evicted without a court order and evictions are stayed until the termination of the National State of Disaster. The latest extension of the National State of Disaster was renewed to 15 December 2021. These monthly extensions are expected to continue into 2022.   

Specifically, during the National State of Disaster, the courts can suspend the stay of eviction.

In other words, they can grant the eviction order only if it is just and equitable after considering if the tenant will have access to a place of residence and basic services to protect their health, the impact of the disaster on the tenant, the tenant’s access to legal services and if adequate measures are in place to protect the health of the tenant after relocating. 

These State of Disaster Regulations reference the tenant’s health in multiple sections when a court is considering whether to grant or stay the eviction order. 

The Rental Housing Act specifically outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. 

Current market dynamics highlight that it is a tenant’s market - with high vacancies and low escalations. Landlords opting to limit their portfolio to vaccinated tenants may be considering the health risk of their tenant portfolio with specific reference to the National State of Disaster.

Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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