Florida recently introduced several new requirements for hiring individuals for employment in apartments. Most notably, this includes background checks, among other specific requirements. This law, Fla. Stat. 83.515, also known as Miya’s Law, is in response to the killing of a college student by a maintenance worker employed at the apartment complex she lived in.
This law applies to both non-transient and transient apartments. Non-transient apartments include buildings or complexes which advertise a minimum of 75% of units to renters for stays longer than a month. Transient apartments are those buildings or facilities offering 25% or more of their units to renters for occupying less than a month. Furthermore, these units get rented a minimum of four times a year.
Beginning January 1st, 2023, this law will expand to encompass membership campgrounds, food service, and lodging establishments. These establishments will become subject to the same requirements amending current safety regulations.
Under Fla. Stat. 83.515, covered landlords must perform background checks as a condition of employment on all employees. These checks must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other state laws. At a minimum, these background checks must cover the criminal, sexual predator, and sex offender registries of every state and the District of Columbia.
Landlords are explicitly permitted to disqualify candidates who meet specific criteria. For example, if the candidate has convictions or was either found guilty of or entered a plea of guilt. The following further describes what landlords must know:
In addition to its requirements for background checks, landlords must establish and maintain protocols and logs for each unit’s storage, issuing, and returning of keys. It also extends the notice requirements from 12 to 24 hours before entering a dwelling. Furthermore, it bars establishments from charging by the hour for stays.
For apartments, this law is already in effect. If they have not already, employers should immediately establish policies and procedures to implement these new background check requirements and key storage and issuance. The start of next year will include membership campgrounds, food service, and lodging establishments. It would be wise for these businesses to begin establishing similar procedures to be ready.
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