Miya’s Law for landlords takes effect Jan. 1, meant to keep tenants safer

by | Dec 30, 2022

  • New rules take effect that will reshape the way landlords track access to a tenant’s property
  • The new measure, known as “Miya’s Law,” was named after a student killed in her apartment by a maintenance worker with a master key
  • The law also requires rental companies to provide information about company policy regarding criminal background checks of employees

(The Center Square) – Landlords in Florida will have a new set of rules to abide by come Jan. 1 when new legislation goes into effect.

Senate Bill 898, also known as ‘Miya’s Law’, is named after Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old student who was killed in her apartment complex in Orlando in 2021 by a maintenance worker who had access to a master key. The law was designed by lawmakers to provide more safety measures for tenants by keeping records of who has access to a tenant’s property.

Parts of “Miya’s Law” already went into effect in July. They required a landlord to perform background screening on potential employees in accordance with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. The background check must include searching all sexual offender/predator and criminal lists in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C.

Florida state Sen. Keith Perry, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, told The Center Square that he was happy to support legislation that will help renters feel safer.

“As a father of two daughters, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain Miya’s family feels,” Perry said. “But as a legislator, I am happy to support this bill that will bring a greater sense of security to renters and also require more oversight to management by tracking who has access to individual apartments. ”

Landlords are now required to give tenants reasonable notice – 12-24 hours – before entering a unit for maintenance or repairs.

President of Florida Landlord Network Paul Howard told The Center Square that the new legislation coming into effect on Jan. 1 will only cover multi-family complexes, and will not apply to single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes and quads.

“In general, the law requires operators of licensed rental communities to, upon request, provide information about company policy regarding criminal background checks of employees; and to maintain a log of everyone who has been issued a copy of an apartment key,” Howard said.

Howard noted that most of the measures are already commonplace, as employers more often than not carry out background checks on potential employees.

“Effective key control is an important part of security procedures at most apartment communities and employee background checks have long been the norm,” Howard said, adding that operators are moving toward more modern security measures.

“It is ironic that this law was passed at a time when most such communities are switching from key locks in favor of electronic systems, which include such safeguards,” Howard said.


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