New version of bill to be presented in Tallahassee

A new version of Miya’s Law, which is pushing for greater tenant safety for residents, will be presented in Tallahassee. Photo Courtesy:

For many years, laws have been in place for employees to pass mandatory background checks before being hired. At apartment complexes, all maintenance staff are required to sign in and out of a key log to keep track of workers that enter a tenant’s unit.

Thursday, Jan. 10, 2022, there will be a new bill presented in Tallahassee that requires background checks on maintenance workers at apartments. The new law is called Miya’s Law.

This bill is being presented because of the murder of a college student, last September, who attended the University of Central Florida named Miya Marcano. Marcano was killed when a maintenance worker used his master key to unlawfully enter her apartment.

Nia Smith, a student at Florida A&M University, feels as though background checks for maintenance workers should have always been required.

“Coming from someone who stays in their own apartment, this is a great idea because the thought of coming home to a maintenance man in your home that may possibly be a criminal is just terrifying,” said Smith.

This new proposed bill hopes to change this. There are many advances to this new bill. The main one should now leave many residents feeling more comfortable in their homes.

Before the new law, it was understood that a big reason for maintenance workers having master keys was for the convenience of the tenant. Maintenance staff can enter apartments during the day to complete service repairs while tenants are out.

Davinaye Flowers expresses how she totally agrees with the new bill and that she will now feel more secure, exactly how she felt when living on a college campus.

“As a woman, I completely agree,” said Flowers. “This has been a fear of mine and I’m glad to see there is going to be a change to ensure everyone’s safety.”

In many apartment complexes, tenants have to pass a background check as a part of the application process; however, it is not mandatory to check the validity of a maintenance worker’s criminal records.

Presently, apartments only require giving notice 12 hours before entering a tenant’s unit. The bill would require 24 hours’ notice before going in.

Apartment complexes should be held accountable to protect their tenants, and it is with a hope that Miya’s Law will save lives.