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Miya’s Law proposal on apartment safety regulations filed in Florida Senate

With slain college student Miya Marcano in mind, Florida Sen. Linda Stewart filed a bill proposed for the 2022 session on Friday that aims to improve apartment safety. Rep. Robin Bartleman will file the House bill.

MIAMI – With slain college student Miya Marcano in mind, Florida Sen. Linda Stewart filed a bill proposed for the 2022 session on Friday that aims to improve apartment safety. Rep. Robin Bartleman will file the House bill.

Steward and Bartleman, who are both Democrats, released a statement citing The Florida Apartment Association’s support of the bill to codify the industry’s “best practices” on employee background screening and apartment access protocols.

“Miya’s death is an awful tragedy – one that has put a spotlight on problems with apartment safety and security. We’ve heard too many horror stories,” Stewart, of Orlando, said.

The bill would force management companies to require background screenings that include national sexual offender registries as a condition of employment. It would also authorize landlords to disqualify employees who have a history of stalking, murder, or other crimes, and regulate who has access to master keys.

“As the parent of a daughter in a rental apartment at the University of Florida - it is my expectation that she is safe and will come home,” Bartleman, of Weston, said in a statement.

Members of the Miya Marcano Foundation believe that had some of these regulations been in place the 19-year-old Flanagan High school graduate who vanished on Sept. 24 in Orlando would still be alive.

Detectives believe her killer was a maintenance worker who used a master key to enter her apartment at the Arden Villas Apartments near the University of Central Florida. Officers found her dead on Oct. 2 in a wooded area. Her killer died by suicide.

The Miya Law would also improve the management of extra keys and force landlords to notify tenants 24 hours in advance before entering an apartment to make repairs.

The regular legislative session convenes on Jan. 11, 2022.

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Emily Hales contributed to this report.


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.