Can You Refuse to Lease to a Tenant With a Mental Illness?

The only instance where you can refuse to rent to a tenant with a mental illness is if the tenant is a direct threat to the safety or well-being of other individuals. Similarly, the same rule applies to potential substantial physical damage to the property of others.

Therefore, you as a landlord must consider the following factors while assessing whether the tenant poses a direct threat:

  • The nature and severity of the risk of injury

  • The likelihood of injury

  • Whether providing reasonable accommodation can eliminate the direct threat

  • Whether the tenant’s medical treatment has eliminated the direct threat

If only after assessing these conditions and reaching the conclusion that the individual indeed poses a direct threat to others, you may reject their application.

Similarly, the same rules apply for the termination of a lease contract.