Florida lawmakers, Miya Marcano’s family rally in favor of increasing renter safety

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers discussed Miya’s Law, a bill filed in memory of slain Orange County woman Miya Marcano, in Tallahassee on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors Sen. Linda Stewart and Rep. Robin Bartleman were joined by other lawmakers and Marcano’s family for the news conference.

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“Miya’s Law will prevent future incidents like this from ever happening again,” Marcano’s mother Yma Scarbriel said. “Apartment complexes must be more diligent in implementing and enforcing policies and procedures that will ensure tenants are safe.”

Investigators say Marcano, 19, was abducted from her UCF-area apartment by one of the complex’s maintenance workers and murdered.

The bill is aimed at increasing protections for Florida tenants.

READ: Miya’s Law: Florida lawmakers propose legislation to impose stricter rules on apartment managers

The law would require landlords to conduct national background screenings, including a criminal history record and sexual offender registries, on all employees, and gives landlords the ability to disqualify applicants who have a history of violent criminal offenses.

It would also strengthen requirements regarding access to individual units. The bill says tenants must be given 24 hours’ notice before a worker can enter an apartment, up from the current 12-hour threshold.

READ: Miya’s Law: Family fights for legislation for tougher restrictions on apartment complex employees

“Millions of apartment residents in Florida trust that they will be safe when they sign a lease,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, there is no requirement for apartments to run background checks before hiring an employee who will have access to someone’s home.”

The legislation is scheduled to receive its first committee hearing during the opening week of the 2022 legislative session next month.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.