Florida Legislature passes ‘Miya’s Law’ and mandates background checks for construction workers

Bill is heading to Governor Ron DeSantis’ office.

Nearly six months after college student Miya Marcano was allegedly murdered by a man who worked in her apartment building, Florida lawmakers have passed a bill requiring tougher protections for tenants.

‘Miya’s Law’, which the state legislature passed on Friday, now requires property owners and managers to conduct background checks on all potential employees, tightens requirements around access to individual housing and requires landlords to give tenants 24 hours’ notice if repairs are to take place.

State Senator Linda Stewart, the bill’s lead sponsor, said she and her colleagues are working to make sure what happened to the 19-year-old Valencia College student doesn’t happen again.

“I hope that with the passage of Miya’s law, it will bring some peace to the family and knowing that their daughter’s death was not in vain,” she said in a statement. .

On September 25, Marcano disappeared from her apartment at the Arden Villas resort in Orlando, Florida, and was found dead a week later in the woods. Investigators say Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at Arden Villas, kidnapped and killed Marcano after gaining access to his apartment using his master key.

Investigators found Caballero dead in his apartment on September 27 of an apparent suicide. They said there were no other suspects involved in the murder.

Marcano’s family said they rebuffed Caballero’s romantic advances and accused the apartment complex’s management of failing to address complaints against Caballero. The management company said in a statement in October that “all employees are screened by a national background check service” and that Caballero had “no criminal record of burglary or sexual assault.”

Marcano’s family has called for tougher protections for tenants and more scrutiny of future apartment maintenance workers.

If Miya’s Law is signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, landlords who violate the new rules could be prosecuted for a first-degree felony or misdemeanor.

“I urge Governor DeSantis to honor Miya’s name and sign this potentially life-saving legislation into law,” said Florida State Representative Robin Bartleman, who was the lead sponsor of the domestic version of the bill. in a press release.