Can landlords ask someone to reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status if they want to become a tenant? Can landlords introduce vaccination requirements for existing tenants?
The short answer is no.
According to Principle 1 of the Privacy Act 2020, the landlord needs to demonstrate they have a legitimate need to know the vaccination status of the current or potential tenants. Principle 4 of the Privacy Act 2020 also states that the landlord cannot pressure or intimidate tenants into providing sensitive information, including their vaccination status.
Tenants, however, are not under any legal obligation to disclose whether or not they have been vaccinated.
Generally speaking, landlords will have a hard time coming up with a good reason to ask. Any purpose regarding taking appropriate measures against COVID-19 is likely to fall flat. The COVID vaccine is not unlike other kinds of vaccines. Asking tenants about their medical history will be considered inappropriate.
There might some room for exemption and we would recommend contacting Tenancy Services to discuss this issue if you have concerns. Hopefully, we'll see clear guidelines from the Government in the coming months.
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