Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Florida Senate Bill 898 (SB 898) – a bill known as “Miya’s Law” that would improve tenant safety in apartment buildings by requiring landlords to conduct a background check on all apartment building employees – has unanimously passed in the House and Senate and now moves to the desk of Governor Rick DeSantis where it awaits signature into law, according to a press release from the website of the Florida Senate.
Under “Miya’s Law,” a landlord of an apartment building must require that employees of the building 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 sexual offender registries of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Sponsored by State Senator Linda Stewart (Democrat – Orlando) and State Representative Robin Bartleman (Democrat – 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” reinforces requirements regarding access to individual units by increasing the required notice to 24 hours and requiring apartments to establish policies for the issuance and return of all master keys. Apartments will also maintain a key log to ensure that access is only given to authorized individuals at authorized times. The bill also includes a provision prohibiting hourly rentals of lodging establishments 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. Although Miya’s family will never get justice and nothing can bring back their daughter, 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,” Senator Stewart stated in the press release.
“This bill will not bring Miya back, but will bring a greater sense of security for Florida’s 2 million renters,” Representative Bartleman, House sponsor of the bill, added. “Thank you to Miya’s family, the Miya Marcano Foundation, my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and Representative Scott Plakon. I urge Governor DeSantis to honor Miya’s name and sign this potentially lifesaving legislation into law.”
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar, a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services, specializing in background, credit, and medical screening – is a CRA accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) that offers fast, accurate, and affordable background check solutions that comply with the FCRA. To learn more, contact ESR today.
NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.
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