A Broward landlord is requiring all new and existing tenants show proof of COVID vaccination even though state law prohibits vaccine passports.
Santiago Alvarez owns eight apartment buildings in Broward and Miami-Dade and is mandating that tenants prove they have received at least an initial COVID-19 vaccination before renewing their lease.
Same for new tenants.
“You don’t want to get vaccinated? You have to move,” 80-year-old Alvarez told The Washington Post. “And if you don’t move, one must move forward with eviction.”
Alvarez says his policy is not in violation of the governor’s order which is intended for “customers or patrons” and not for tenants. At least one tenant has filed a complaint.
Alvarez said he made the decision a month ago after seeing too many of his tenants die from Covid-19.
“I think my decision was right, and I will defend it any way I can. If I get fined, I will go to court with it,” he told CNN.
DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, noted that the Florida Department of Health’s rule enforcing a ban on vaccine passports is not in effect.
“Under Florida law, people cannot be required to show vaccine passports as a condition of entry or service,” she said.
There is a $5,000 fine for each violation.
“Mr. Alvarez and all who agree with him should be informed that vaccinated people can still transmit COVID to others, although they’re protected against severe illness,” she added. “The idea of requiring vaccine passports is unscientific and will not achieve ‘lower cases.’ Without mandates, cases are dropping rapidly in Florida on their own.”