Florida governor signs ‘Miya’s Law,’ requires background checks for apartment complex employees

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Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will require apartment landlords to conduct background checks on employees, a response to the September murder of a Valencia College student.

With the signature, DeSantis finished taking action on all of the bills passed during the 2022 legislative session.

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Under the new law, criminal and sexual-offender background checks will be required for apartment-complex employees. Also, tenants will have to be given 24 hours’ notice before workers can enter apartments.

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The measure (SB 898), known as “Miya’s Law,” was crafted after the death of 19-year-old Miya Marcano, who was found dead a week after she went missing from her Orlando apartment.

The suspected killer, who later committed suicide, worked as a maintenance worker at Marcano’s apartment complex. According to investigators, he used a master key fob to enter Marcano’s apartment the day she went missing.

“By signing this legislation, we are making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace of mind in their home,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.

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In March, the House and Senate unanimously passed the measure, which was sponsored by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, Rep. Robin Bartleman, D-Weston, and Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood.

“Although this legislation will not bring Miya back, it will help save lives and bring a greater sense of security to college students moving into their first apartment, seniors residing in apartment communities, and all the 2 million renters in Florida,” Bartleman said in a statement.

The measure also will ban motels and hotels from charging hourly room rates as a way to try to prevent sex trafficking.

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