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Can my landlord evict me if I get COVID-19?

Produced by Community Legal Aid and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed October 18, 2020

Evicting someone because they have or are believed to have COVID-19 is probably a form of “housing discrimination” under fair housing laws.

Fair housing laws tell landlords they cannot discriminate based on disability or national origin.

A court might decide that your landlord is discriminating against you if they:

  • Send you a notice to quit, or try to evict you because you have COVID-19.
  • Send you a notice to quit, or try to evict you because they think you have COVID-19.
  • Force you to quarantine.
  • Ban you from common areas.
  • Tell you to follow different rules than other tenants because they think you have COVID-19.
  • Refuse to rent to you because they think you have COVID-19.
  • Refuse to rent to you because of your national origin.
  • Treat you differently because of your national origin.

It is probably discriminatory for a shelter to:

  • Turn you away, or
  • Asks to leave,

because they think you have COVID-19.  But you may be sent to an isolation site if you test positive as a protective step.

There are some limited exceptions when fair housing laws do not apply.

If your landlord is discriminating against you, or if your landlord sends you a notice to quit, or tries to evict you, try to get a lawyer.

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