"Moral and ethical" requirements in leases

A friend of mine recently moved to Renton, WA, and is renting the cutest little house in the world from the local Catholic parish.

Upon perusal, her lease includes the following text (emphasis mine):

So, is the bold text enforceable?

Usual disclaimer: Although IAAL, IANAL in Washington, and no attorney-client relationship is created by this response. If your friend wants to test this clause, he/she should see a local attorney.

That said, it’s probably enforceable, unless the particular use is protected by law. There was a case in Illinois a couple years ago where the landlord (who lived on the premises) refused to rent to a tenant-couple who were not married on moral/religious grounds. She was found liable for violation of a law (IIRC, it was an ordinance) that prohibited discrimination based on marital status.

In most cases though, the clause would be enforced, in my opinion. The exception in the previous paragraph is narrower that it might seem. For example, the First Amendment and most other Constitutional restrictions don’t apply to private tranactions, and the law mentioned in the example is not common. If your friend wants to set up a commercial internet sexcam, she should probably find herself another house.

A commercial sexcam would probably require commercial zoning, or at least dual live/work zoning. But forget the sexcam: does this mean the landlord wouldn’t rent to Muslims, Mormons, Pagans, or Presbyterians?

[sup]Yes, I read that the landlord was the Catholic parish.[/sup]

No problem, so long as they behave themselves… Or rather, do what the Catholic Church considers “behaving themselves”. Of course, the Latter-Day Saints and the Islamic religion both have stricter moral/ethical standards, for the most part, than the Catholic church, so there shouldn’t be a problem there. In other words, most things that Catholics would consider forbidden, the LDS and Muslims would also consider forbidden.

Probably, since your friend signed the lease.

Interesting. I wonder if you break the rules whether they can still evict you if you go to confession. Technically, I would guess that counts as playing under the rules of the church.

“Hey, I know I ate meat on Fridays, but I did my five Hail Marys. Why is all my furniture out on the curb?”