On February 22nd, 2022 the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government unanimously passed SB 898, known as “Miya’s Law”. The bill, sponsored by Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando), would improve tenant safety in apartment buildings through required background screenings of employees.

In an official statement Senator Stewart said, “I am thrilled with the committee’s decision. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes, and today’s unanimous vote brings us a step closer to establishing important protections for all renters.”

The bill will require landlords to conduct background screenings for apartment employees. The background screening must include a national screening of criminal history records and sexual predator and sexual offender registries. The screening would specifically include criminal offenses involving violence or a disregard for the safety of others, and allow a landlord to disqualify individuals with criminal records from employment.

“The bill has gained traction in both the Senate and the House and I am hopeful that we may soon carry this important legislation across the finish line in these final weeks of session. The passage of this bill would represent a major win for the safety of all tenants,” said Stewart

The bill also strengthens requirements regarding access to individual units, increasing the required notice to 24 hours and requiring apartments to establish policies for the issuance and return of all keys and maintain a key log to ensure that access is only given to authorized individuals at authorized times. The bill moves now to Appropriations, its final committee of reference in the Senate.