Miya’s Law — What It Means for Landlords and How a Key Management System Can Help

In September of 2021, a 19-year-old college student named Miya Marcano was murdered. Despite having a criminal background, the killer, Armando Caballero, was an employee of the apartment complex where she lived and possessed a master key to the complex’s apartments. Key fob data shows that he accessed Marcano’s apartment shortly before she came home from work, where he is thought to have taken her by surprise and killed her.

It’s a horrific story, and it highlights the dangers of uncontrolled key access. Careless key management can place both tenants and their property in danger.

Miya’s Law

If there’s a silver lining to this tragic event, it may be Senate Bill (SB) 898, otherwise known as Miya’s Law, which the governor of Florida signed into effect on June 27, 2022. Miya’s Law makes tenants and their homes safer by requiring landlords and building managers to take specific measures around who has access to their dwellings.

In brief, the law requires landlords to:

  • Run criminal background screenings on employees
  • Give tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering an apartment
  • Maintain a log accounting for the issuance and return of all keys
  • Establish policies for the issuance, return, and storage of all keys

This puts the onus on landlords to ensure that only authorized individuals have keys to tenants’ apartments and only at authorized times, and to keep a detailed record of who has which keys and when. Landlords who have been relying on sign-out sheets or keeping keys in a drawer will need to upgrade their key security quickly if they want to stay abreast of the new regulations.

Keycafe Key Management Maintains Logs and Ensures Authorized Access

Keycafe provides electronic key management systems, enabling landlords to manage, store, and control access to keys. Each key is stored in an IoT-connected key locker system called a Keycafe SmartBox, and the key is attached to an anonymous NFC tracking chip. The Keycafe key management system keeps a log of who has access, when and where and stores keys in a centralized place between use.

Keycafe is modular and can grow with your key management requirements. Whether you own a handful of units, a building, or an entire complex, Keycafe’s flexible plans will help you control your keys.

Keycafe Helps Landlords be Compliant

Two sections of the law are particularly relevant to key security:

  • Section 4(5)(b) requires landlords to “Maintain a log accounting for the issuance and return of all keys for each dwelling unit."
  • Section 4(5)(c) requires landlords to “Establish policies and procedures for the issuance and return of dwelling unit keys and regulating the storage of, and access to, unissued keys."

Fortunately, Keycafe’s tracking features make staying in compliance a whole lot easier.

The Keycafe system keeps keys physically locked in an IoT-connected key locker called a SmartBox. Each key pick-up and drop-off is logged, and each key is attached to a key fob that is scanned during drop-offs. Staff can access keys by using a pin with optional 2-factor authentication, a logged-in smartphone app, or user authentication badges.

Depending on the user’s permission level, they may be able to access some, all, or only one of the keys. Landlords can grant or revoke key access to individual staff members, departments, and contractors in real-time to ensure authorized access only.

As a landlord or building manager, you have tight control over who has access to which keys, and at what times. Every key pick-up and drop-off is monitored in real-time and recorded in downloadable logs. Moreover, key search filters let you see the status of multiple keys at once and view all keys checked out by an individual staff member. If a key isn’t where it’s supposed to be, this feature can save time and enable faster resolution.

A complete access history helps you stay in compliance with the requirement to maintain records of your keys’ whereabouts, while the combination of physical storage and controlled access helps you establish systems and policies for all the keys for your property. Miya’s law is so new that it is not clear what will be required for the annual proof of compliance, however the physical key locker with the downloadable logs should meet the requirements for proof.

Beyond Miya’s Law

The benefits of using Keycafe go beyond just complying with the new law, however. The Keycafe system makes life easier for you, your staff, and your tenants by streamlining key access with features such as:

24/7 Key Access

Authorized staff can easily access keys, fobs, or keycards at any time, without needing to contact system administrators or management.

24/7 Customer Support

Keycafe’s systems are supported by global 24/7 customer support. Reach us anytime with a quick phone call or on our chat platform.

Granular Permissions

Landlords and building managers can specify exactly who has access to which keys and at what times. They can also assign permissions to authorized users based on groups of keys.

Programmable Alerts

Keys not returned on time? Create a customized, automated alert message to be sent to the person who took the keys, an administrator, or any other user.

Mobile App

You can manage permissions remotely and in real-time using the Keycafe app from anywhere.

Full API Automation

You can use our app, or you can use our API to integrate Keycafe directly into the software of your choosing.

Modular Design

The SmartBox is highly scalable, even across different locations, making it ideal for real estate investors with multiple properties. Start with eight lockers and expand into the hundreds as you acquire new units.

Battery Backup

No need to worry if the power goes off. Our backup batteries will ensure that the right people continue to have access to the right keys (and that the wrong ones don’t).

Key History Audits

This system ensures that every single interaction in your system is accounted for, with a complete, auto-updated list of all deposits and withdrawals at the key, user, and SmartBox levels.

Want to Know More?

Make your life—and your tenants’ lives—easier with the Keycafe key management system. Contact our sales team today to learn how to keep your keys in the right hands.

For further reading about Miya’s Law see Senate Bill (SB) 898 from the Florida Senate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specific penalties for landlords or property managers who fail to comply with Miya's Law?

Miya's Law doesn't explicitly detail penalties in the legislative text. However, generally, non-compliance with such regulatory laws can lead to fines or other legal actions from state authorities to enforce compliance.

How does Miya's Law address situations where employees have a clean background check but later engage in criminal activities?

While Miya's Law mandates background checks before employment, it does not specify ongoing monitoring or reevaluation of employees. Typically, continual monitoring would require additional legislation or internal policies by the property management.

Are there any exemptions or specific adaptations of Miya's Law for different types of residential properties, such as short-term rentals or multi-family complexes?

Miya's Law applies generally to landlords and property managers without specifying different rules for types of residential properties like short-term rentals or multi-family complexes. The law focuses on ensuring safety across all dwelling units managed by landlords.

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