Residential propety

New Requirements for Homeowners in Florida

Miya’s Law: Mandatory employee background checks, unit key log maintenance, 24-hour advance notice for entry into accommodations

On June 27, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Miya’s Law, Senate Bill (SB) 898, to strengthen security requirements for residential apartments. The Miya Law, effective July 1, 2022, will have a significant impact on the day-to-day operations of Florida property owners and managers.

The Florida Senate named SB 898 in honor of Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old college student tragically killed by a handyman at her apartment complex who used a key fob to enter her apartment.

Miya’s Law requires owners to perform background checks on potential employees as a condition of employment. Landlords and licensees of transient and non-transitional apartments must have a background check process that includes a review of criminal records and sex offender registries in all 50 states. If a prospective employee’s background check reveals certain violent criminal offenses, then the owner may find the prospective employee ineligible for employment.

Landlords must also keep a register of keys to each accommodation. New log requirements ensure that apartments account for the issuance, return and storage of all key fobs. Some key fobs are easily copied at hardware stores, making key fobs a major security risk for renters. The Department of Business and Professional Regulations will inspect apartment key records and background check procedures annually.

Miya’s Law doubles the notification requirement of “reasonable notice” to enter a unit for maintenance and repairs from 12 hours to 24 hours. In response to Miya’s Law, Florida Realtors® has updated all contracts and forms that include a mandatory “reasonable notice” provision to the 24-hour standard. However, existing rental agreements containing the old 12-hour notice provision must still meet the new 24-hour requirement. Miya’s law also prohibits operators of public accommodation establishments from offering hourly rates for accommodation.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “Every tenant deserves to be safe in their own home. By signing this law, we are making it safer to live in rental housing and giving tenants more peace of mind in their homes. Miya’s death was a tragedy and our prayers continue to be with the Marcano family. I’m proud to act on their behalf to help prevent a tragedy like this from happening to another tenant in Florida.