Medical Professional’s Guide to Housing Issues During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Disability Rights Texas Handout

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Medical Professional’s Guide to Housing Issues During COVID-19 Pandemic

We have seen instances of medical professionals discriminated against because of what they do and where they work. The discrimination stems from being associated with people with disabilities, being thought to have a disability, or having a disability. Below, we address several scenarios we know are playing out or that we anticipate could occur.

Forcing me to stay in my home

I’m a medical professional and my landlord says I can’t leave my home, even to get groceries, because I could be infected, but everyone else can come and go. Can my landlord force me to stay in my apartment?

No. You cannot be treated differently because the landlord thinks you have COVID-19. You cannot be forced to stay in your home by your landlord.

Being forced to move

I got COVID-19 from work. My landlord now knows and said I have to move out. Can they do this?

No. A landlord cannot force you to move out because you have or had COVID-19.

Harassment by neighbors

My neighbor knows I work in a hospital. They are harassing me when I go outside to my car or to take my dog to the restroom yelling that I shouldn’t be going outside. They will not stop harassing me. What do I do?

Let the landlord know in writing that you are being harassed and why your neighbors are harassing you. Ask the landlord to tell the tenant that is harassing you to stop. The landlord should advise the other tenant to stop the harassment.

End lease early

I have COVID-19 and need help taking care of myself while I recover. Can I end my lease early without paying any penalties?

Yes. Because you have a disability and you need help caring for yourself, you can likely terminate your lease without penalty.

The situations and rights explained above apply to all medical professionals regardless of whether you work at a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, or as an in-home caregiver.

If you need assistance with any of the issues described above, please call our intake line at 1-800-252-9108, apply online at intake.DRTx.org, or you can send an e-mail to housing@drtx.org with your name, phone number, address, and a description of the issue.

Created: March 26, 2020
Publication Code: HS7


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Online Intake available 24/7: intake.DRTx.org

Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.

The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.