Fact Finders: Does a landlord have to tell you about a neighbor’s positive case?

Fact Finders: Does a landlord have to tell you about a neighbor’s positive case?
KOLD Fact Finders (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - For some in Southern Arizona, the stay-at-home order means sharing a building or complex with hundreds of other residents.

While many management companies and property owners are taking steps to help keep residents healthy, like closing pools and common areas, there are no laws in Arizona that require any kind of notification from your neighbor if he or she has symptoms of the coronavirus or contracts it.

Here is information for renters during the coronavirus outbreak from the Arizona Multihousing Association.

If a tenant in an apartment building or multi-housing complex in Arizona tests positive for COVID-19, does that tenant have to inform management?

No, under state law, tenants are not legally obligated to notify property managers or owners of a positive test for COVID-19. In speaking with our members, it’s been the case that some tenants have done so regardless. But there is no legal obligation to make a notification.

Does management have to inform residents if they learn of a positive case in the complex or community?

While there is no legal obligation for management to make such notifications, our property owners across the state have been extremely proactive as part of keeping residents of apartment communities as safe as possible.

The AMA said some property managers have taken the step of notifying tenants about a positive test by a resident. Those notifications can include recommendations and information from local and state health departments, as well as the CDC. Other property managers prefer passing along regular communications about how to stay safe amid the pandemic.

“While residents are not required to inform their apartment management of a COVID-19 diagnosis, it can be requested to consider notifying apartment management so that appropriate preventive measures can be taken to limit exposure to other residents and staff," said Amy Groff, Senior Vice President of Industry Operations for the National Apartment Association in an emailed statement to KOLD News 13.

The National Apartment Association also recommends to its members that if they learn of a case in the community, to consider posting a notice and emailing the community, as well as communicating that measures consistent with health officials’ guidance will be followed to keep everyone safe.

However, the NAA said privacy laws apply, which include names, unit numbers and health information.

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