A bill in Florida known as “Miya’s Law” (Florida Senate Bill 898) that would improve tenant safety by requiring landlords of apartments to conduct background checks on all apartment building employees has unanimously passed in Florida’s House and Senate. The bill now moves to the desk of Florida Governor Rick DeSantis to wait to be signed into law.
Under “Miya’s Law,” employees of apartment buildings must undergo a background check as a condition of employment performed by a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) in accordance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The background check must include a screening of criminal history records and sexual predator and sex offender registries.
Sponsored by State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) and State Representative Robin Bartleman (D-Weston), “Miya’s Law” would allow a landlord to disqualify a person from employment at their apartment building if the person has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any of the following offenses:
- (a) A criminal offense involving disregard for the safety of others which, if committed in this state, is a felony or a misdemeanor of the first degree or, if committed in another state, would be a felony or a misdemeanor of the first degree if committed in this state.
- (b) A criminal offense committed in any jurisdiction which involves violence, including, but not limited to, murder, sexual battery, robbery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, and stalking.
“Miya’s Law” increases the required notice for access to individual units to 24 hours and requires apartments to establish policies for the issuance and return of master keys. Apartments will also maintain a key log to ensure access is only given to authorized individuals at authorized times. The bill also prohibits hourly rentals of lodging to curb human trafficking.
“This bill will honor Miya Marcano, 19, a college student who was senselessly killed last year by a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where she resided,” Senator Stewart stated in a press release on the Florida Senate website. “I do hope the passing of Miya’s Law will bring some peace to the family knowing that their daughter’s death was not in vain.”
ClearStar – a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services specializing in background, credit, and medical screening – offers a low-cost background screening solution for landlords that includes a national criminal database and sex offender registry searches. To learn more, please visit www.clearstar.net/tenant-screening/.