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Navigating the Fair Housing Act and Iowa Landlord-Tenant Law During COVID-19

Those who are in the business of renting or selling residential properties are in the unchartered territory due to COVID-19 and have plenty of questions regarding privacy concerns for tenants/applicants, duty to protect its employees and tenants, and Fair Housing laws. Some wonder whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) or Iowa law cover individuals who have or had COVID-19 and the reality is, those individuals could argue that the FHA and its disability protections apply. And because COVID-19 may qualify as a disability under the FHA, landlords should not deny an applicant because of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Considerations do exist for those who constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others. In addition, landlords cannot demand that applicants or tenants declare whether they have COVID-19, nor can they refuse to show a unit to a positively diagnosed individual.

 

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Posted Under: Tenant Screening

Post By Ken Shafton (806 Posts)