Health Care Workers Allegedly Asked to Leave Rentals

March 31, 2020

Medical professionals fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines are reportedly being asked to leave their rentals by landlords who worry that they could bring the virus home from their jobs.

Reports are growing over landlords or short-term rental hosts canceling reservations when they find out the person is a medical professional. Kadey Carter, a traveling nurse in Missouri, told The Daily Beast that it has happened to her multiple times. She says several Airbnb hosts recently canceled her reservations when they learned she was a nurse. “They’re apologetic but they’re just like, ‘basically for our protection right now, we’re not comfortable with that,” she told The Daily Beast.

Cities and the mortgage financing giants have moved to halt evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic. But that hasn’t necessarily prevented some mom-and-pop landlords or homeowners offering their homes as short-term rentals from doing so.

Several nurses whom The Daily Beast interviewed reported that landlords backed out of rental agreements after finding out the prospects were health professionals. The nurses said they felt like they were being discriminated against when applying for housing.

Of those evicted, several nurses reported struggling to find anyone to open their homes on short notice. Some have had to live in hotels. The nurses reported to the Daily Beast that most of the landlords who evicted them were elderly and had some underlying health conditions, making them among the most vulnerable to the virus.

Medical professionals have training and protective gear to prevent the spread of the disease, the nurses said. Also, “these are the same people who are going to take care of you if you wind up in the hospital, or God forbid the ICU,” a nurse from Hawaii who requested anonymity from the site and who faced an eviction, told The Daily Beast. “And if I’m sleeping in my car, I’m not functioning my best. … If you want people to help, they have to have a place to live.”