Can a landlord require I get vaccinated? Here’s what one attorney has to say

On Balance with Leland Vittert

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Amid the debate over whether your boss can force you to get the vaccine, can your landlord do the same?

One attorney says it depends on where you live.

“Usually, landlords under the law are given a great wide breadth of discretion to do what they think is necessary to protect … health, safety and welfare,”  Bob Bianchi, an attorney and former Morris County, New Jersey prosecutor, said on “On Balance with Leland Vittert.”

If you rent in New York, Bianchi says your landlord should have no problem requiring you got the shot.

In Florida, things get “twisty,” with all eyes on one landlord’s recent push.

The Washington Post reports. that a Miami-Area landlord is demanding his residents get the shot, or their leases will not be renewed.

“You don’t want to get vaccinated? You have to move,” Santiago Alvarez, who owns eight apartment buildings, told the newspaper. “And if you don’t move, one must move forward with eviction.”

Bianchi says this case is complicated because of the law in the state. 

Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation prohibiting proof of vaccination in order to get services from businesses or governments.

“I believe what the landlord’s lawyers are going to do here is say, ‘These aren’t goods and services,'” Bianchi said. “These are not customers and patrons, they are property owners, if you will, quote unquote, through a lease.”

To fight that argument, Bianchi believes the governor or the state might add tenants and landlord to the law.

“Then when they do that, you’re gonna see a real court faceoff on this one,” Bianchi said.

Bianchi believes because states are handling things so differently, these types of issues will probably end up going to the federal courts.

“Even in the federal courts, Leland, they’re split on a lot of these issues,” Bianchi said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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