[TALLAHASSEE] – Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 898, designated as “Miya’s Law”, to strengthen residential tenant safety measures including requiring background checks for prospective employees, maintaining a log for each dwelling unit’s keys, and increasing notification requirements for maintenance and repairs from 12 to 24 hours. The bill is named after Miya Marcano, a young woman and Orlando student who was tragically killed in her apartment in 2021 by a maintenance worker who entered her unit with an apartment key fob.
“Every tenant deserves to be safe in their own home,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “By signing this legislation, we are making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace of mind in their homes. Miya’s death was a tragedy, and our prayers continue to be with the Marcano family. I am proud to act on their behalf to help prevent a tragedy like that from happening to another Florida tenant.”
Background Screenings Are Required
SB 898 directs landlords or licensees of transient and non-transient apartments to require all employees undergo a background screening as a condition of employment. A person may be disqualified from employment if the person has been found guilty of certain offenses involving violence and disregard for safety.
Apartments will also be required to maintain a log accounting for the issuance and return of all keys. In addition, establish policies for their issuance, return, and storage. The apartment’s key log and background screenings will be subject to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s annual inspection of apartments.
‘Reasonable Notice’ for Entry
Additionally, the bill changes the requirement for ‘reasonable notice’ for entry of a unit for maintenance and repairs. This has been updated from 12 hours to 24 hours’ notice. The bill also prohibits operators of public lodging establishments from offering hourly rates for an accommodation.