Florida’s New Law Mandates Employee Background Checks to Protect Tenants in Response to Tragedy

Florida’s New Law Mandates Employee Background Checks to Protect Tenants in Response to Tragedy

On June 27, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed “Miya’s Law” (SB 898) into law which is designed to increase safety for residential tenants and significantly impacts the duties of Florida landlords and property managers.[1]  

Miya’s Law applies to landlords of public lodging establishments and nontransient and transient apartments and requires that employees undergo background screenings as a condition of employment. The background screening must be performed by a consumer reporting agency in accordance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and must include a screening of criminal history records and sexual predator and sexual offender registries of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Miya’s Law allows a landlord to disqualify a person from employment if the background screening reveals that the person has been convicted or found guilty of a criminal offense involving the disregard for safety of others that is a felony or a first-degree misdemeanor, or offenses involving violence (battery, robbery, carjacking, stalking, etc.).

Some other key features of the new law include (a) requiring the maintenance of a key log and policies accounting for the issuance and return of all keys, (b) changing the period of reasonable notice provided to tenants prior to a landlord and/or the landlord’s employees entering the tenant’s unit from 12 to 24 hours, and (c) subjecting the key log and background screenings to annual inspections by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  

Miya’s Law was enacted in response to the tragic murder of a 19-year-old female, Miya Marcano, in September 2021, when a maintenance worker from her Orlando rental complex entered her apartment and murdered her. 

Florida landlords and property managers should review their current policies and procedures to ensure prompt compliance with Miya’s Law.

[1] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/898/BillText/er/PDF

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