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DeSantis Signs Miya’s Law, Updates Tenants’ Rights

Miya’s Law creates new rules, some of which impact landlords. Highest profile one is that a maintenance and repair “reasonable notice” rises from 12 to 24 hours.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB 898) this week, also called “Miya’s Law” for Miya Marcano, a young Orlando student killed in her apartment by a maintenance worker who entered using an apartment key fob.

The law strengthens residential tenant safety measures, some of which may impact Florida landlords and property managers. The highest profile change that could affect day-to-day operations refers to the “reasonable notice” requirement to enter a unit to perform maintenance or make repairs. The reasonable notice is now 24 hours; before Miya’s Law, it was 12 hours.

Florida Realtors® is updating all contracts and forms that include a mandatory “reasonable notice” timeline that goes into effect July 1, 2022. However, existing rental contracts that may contain the 12-hour notice must also follow the new 24-hour notice changed through Miya’s Law.

“By signing this legislation, we’re making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace of mind in their homes,” DeSantis said in a release. “Miya’s death was a tragedy, and our prayers continue to be with the Marcano family. I am proud to act on their behalf to help prevent a tragedy like that from happening to another Florida tenant.”

In addition to the “reasonable notice” change, SB 898 prohibits operators of public lodging establishments from offering hourly rates for an accommodation. SB 898 also directs applicable apartment landlords to perform a background screening check on all employees as a condition of employment, and disqualify certain applicants from employment if they’re found guilty of certain offenses that involve violence and/or a disregard for safety.

Apartments subject to the new law must also now maintain a log accounting for the issuance and return of all keys, and they must create policies for keys’ issuance, return and storage. The apartment key log and background screenings must be made available to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) during its annual inspection of apartments.

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