A new regulation for residential landlords starting July 1 requires property owners of transient or non-transient apartments in Florida to perform background checks on all employees and licensees.
The background checks are required to be performed by a consumer reporting agency such as GroupOne Background Screening in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. They must include the screening of criminal history records and sexual predator and sexual offender registries of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
If the background screening reveals the prospective employee has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere, regardless of adjudication, of certain criminal offenses, the landlord may find the prospective employee ineligible for employment. Criminal offenses could include:
- • offenses involving the disregard for the safety of others which, if committed in Florida or another state, is a felony or misdemeanor of the first degree in Florida;
• offenses committed in any jurisdiction which involves violence such as murder, sexual assault, battery, robbery, carjacking, home invasion and stalking.
The new law also increases the notifications required by landlords to enter a unit for maintenance and repairs from what was formerly 12 to 24 hours in advance. In addition to the background checks and increased notifications, starting January 1, 2023 residential landlords must establish policies and procedures for the issuance and return of keys to each apartment while regulating the storage and access to unissued keys. In addition, landlords must maintain a log for each apartment’s key indicating the issuance and return of all keys for each apartment.
Dubbed “Miya’s Law,” the new requirements were inspired by Miya Marcano, a young Orlando student killed in her apartment by a maintenance worker who entered using an apartment key fob.
The new requirements for residential landlords are part of SB 898 which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 27, 2022.