New Florida Law Mandates Employee Background Checks to Protect Tenants in Response to Tragedy | Shutts & Bowen LLP

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

The Miya Law applies to owners of non-transitional and transient public accommodations and apartments and requires employees to undergo background checks as a condition of employment. The background check must be conducted by a consumer reporting agency in accordance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and must include a check of criminal backgrounds and sexual predator and sex offender registries from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Miya’s Law allows a landlord to disqualify a person from employment if the background check reveals that the person has been convicted or convicted of a criminal offense involving disregard for the safety of others that is a felony or a first degree misdemeanor, or offenses involving violence (battery, theft, carjacking, harassment, etc.).

Some other key features of the new law include (a) requiring maintenance of a key log and policies recording the issuance and return of all keys, (b) changing the reasonable notice period provided to tenants before 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 checks to annual inspections by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

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

Florida property owners and 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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