This question is from Brian (paraphrased to suit this format):
Can I ask prospective tenants whether they are vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated by the start of the tenancy?
No. Not unless you can demonstrate that there is a legitimate connection between a tenant applicant’s vaccination status and the lawful purpose of your information collection (which is to help you determine the best applicant on merit to rent to). We can’t think of any (though we are not ruling out the possibility that there could be any, and advise landlords to tackle the issue on a case-by-case basis).
Even if you want to make the argument that a person’s vaccination status/stance is somewhat connected to their employment/steadiness of income and therefore their likely ability to afford the rent, that right to inquire rests on the applicant’s employer, not you, her maybe-would-be landlord.
Additionally, collecting that information could leave you vulnerable to an s12 (unlawful act) claim by an unsuccessful tenant applicant. All in all, why would you?
Update 26 October 2021: We await details of the government’s latest vaccine mandate (announced today) which could result in an update of our guidance on this matter.