Enforcement of Miya’s Law for renter safety goes into effect in 2023

Law requires apartment landlords to conduct background checks on all employees

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Enforcement for a new Florida law requiring more safety protections for tenants will begin in January 2023.

Miya’s Law, named after 19-year-old Miya Marcano, was signed into law in June by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Marcano was killed by a maintenance worker while she was living in an Orlando-area apartment complex.

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While Miya's Law was written into law earlier this year, the law won't be enforceable until 2023; so what can tenants do protect themselves in the meantime?

The law requires landlords to get a background check on apartment complex employees. People with a violent criminal history or anyone listed as a sexual offender or sexual predator will not be eligible for hire. Landlords will also have to give tenants 24 hours of notice before entering their apartments and keep a master log of who is accessing any master keys.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, who supported the legislation, tells News 6 it aims to make sure what happened to Miya won’t happen again.

“So many parents that send their kids off to college are worried about doing that because of what happened to Miya,” said Eskamani. “And so, the hope is these protections will not only prevent another victim, but also give security to those who live in Florida.”

The Miya Marcano Foundation is set to host “A Day of Remembrance” for the 19-year-old Friday night at the Arden Villas apartments in Orange County to mark one year after her death.

Marcano was last seen leaving the front office of the Arden Villas apartments where she worked near the University of Central Florida around 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2021, as shown in a surveillance photo released in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office’s final report.

Her body was found in a wooded area near Tymber Skan Condominiums off South Texas Avenue on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 2, just over one week after she was reported missing.

Apartment complex owners at center of Miya Marcano case admit to lack of safeguards

Authorities identified 27-year-old Armando Caballero, a maintenance worker at the complex, as a person of interest in her disappearance after learning he had “demonstrated a romantic interest in Miya,” but was rejected by her several times. He was found dead from suicide at another apartment complex a few days after Marcano was reported missing, deputies said.


Documents released in July showed the company that owns the complex admitted not all safeguards were in place at the time of Marcano’s disappearance and death.

Eskmani credits Miya’s family and her story for the legislature taking swift action to put these protections in place. She believes it will spark more change both in Florida and in other states.

“A lot of us would like to see more protections in place,” said Rep. Eskamani. “This final version of Miya’s law that passed was one that lawmakers worked across the aisle and across chambers to pass, but it’s not the last area of conversation. In fact, Miya and her story has amplified awareness around missing women, and missing people in general, as we have missing people in Florida now who still have not been found.”

All of Miya’s Law will be enforced by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants, under the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Inspectors will begin checking compliance during annual inspections, starting in 2023.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.