Miya Marcano

Signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, Miya's Law, also known as SB 898, will require landlords to have employees undergo background screenings as a condition of employment.

Gov. Ron DeSantis enacted stronger safety regulations for Florida's tenants in apartment complexes by signing Miya's Law on Monday.

The law, also known as SB 898, will require landlords to have employees undergo background screenings as a condition of employment.

It will also revise what constitutes reasonable notice for repairs of dwelling units and prohibits an operator of a public lodging establishment from offering an hourly rate for an accommodation.

Miya's Law was named after 19-year-old Miya Marcano, a Valencia College student who lived and worked at Arden Villas Apartments near the UCF main campus. She went missing on Sept. 24, 2021, and her body was found on Oct. 2 in a wooden area near Tymber Skan Apartments.

The only prime suspect was a maintenance worker at Arden Villas Apartments, and he was found dead from an apparent suicide three days after Marcano's disappearance. 

Miya's Law also requires apartments to maintain a log for each dwelling unit's keys and establish policies for their issuance, return and storage and increase notification requirements for maintenance and repairs from 12 hours and 24 hours. 

DeSantis stated in a press release that every tenant deserves to be safe in their home.

"By signing this legislation, we are making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace in their homes," DeSantis said. "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." 

Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando and sponsor of the bill, issued a statement regarding the signing of the bill on Monday. 

"Today is the day we have all been waiting for,” Stewart said in the press release. "I’d like to thank the governor for his approval of this very important bill, but I would also like to thank the many stakeholders and the group of bi-partisan supporters who all worked countless hours to get this bill to where we are today."

Stewart said that while the Marcano family will never receive justice and nothing can bring Miya back, she does hope that some peace will be brought to the family in knowing that her death was not in vain with this new law going into effect.

Rep. Robin Bartleman, D-Weston and sponsor of the bill, said in a tweet she was overjoyed with the news of the signing of Miya's Law.

"What a happy day - I can't believe it happened! Miya Marcano Foundation, I know it will bring some peace. Miya was definitely shining down on us," Bartleman said.

Miya's Law will go into effect on July 1.

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