The Florida Sex Offender Rental Notification Act

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PREAMBLE

“The Florida Sex Offender Rental Notification Act.”

WHEREAS, repeat sexual offenders, sexual offenders who use physical violence, and sexual offenders who prey on children are sexual predators who present an extreme threat to the public safety. Sexual offenders are extremely likely to use physical violence and to repeat their offenses, and most sexual offenders commit many offenses, have many more victims than are ever reported, and are prosecuted for only a fraction of their crimes. This makes the cost of sexual offender victimization to society at large, while incalculable, clearly exorbitant. (Copied from s. 775.21(3)(a));

WHEREAS, families with minors reside in dwellings which commonly include apartment complexes, condominiums, townhomes, and single family homes that are owned, maintained and monitored by others, including owners, landlords, managers, and maintenance personnel who are not related by blood or marriage to those residing within the dwelling;

WHEREAS, families with minors frequently have guests, visitors and extended family who are minors;

WHEREAS, the owners, landlords, managers, maintenance personnel and others often have access to the residence through issuance of keys, access codes and other means of entry into the residence;

WHEREAS, because those individuals who have access to the dwelling would otherwise not be permitted access to it, were it not for the residents’ contractual relationship with the owner of the dwelling;

WHEREAS, sex offenders have been given access to rental and leased residences relating to the ownership, operation and maintenance of the residence;

WHEREAS, residents and their guests are often unaware that those with access to the residence may have been convicted of certain crimes that qualify those with access to the residence as Sex offenders;

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Section 1. Section 768.38, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

768.38 – Duty to Warn Rental Tenants of the Presence of Sex Offender Employees

(1) SHORT TITLE. – This section may be cited as “The Florida Sex Offender Rental Notification Act.”

(2) DEFINITIONS. – As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Tenant” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 83.43;

(b) “Landlord” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 83.43;

(c) “Rent” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 83.43;

(d) “Premises” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 83.43;

(e) “Rental Agreement” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 83.43;

(f) “Permanent residence” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 775.21;

(g) “Deposit monies” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 83.43;

(h) “Employee” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 440.02(15)(a);

(i) “Sexual Offender” shall have the same meaning as defined in s. 943.0435(1)(a)(I).

(3) All Rental Agreements for Permanent residence in this State shall contain a separate, prominent written disclosure expressly stating to the Tenant, as part of the overall Rental Agreement:

(a) Whether all Landlords and Employees of the Premises have been screened for offences qualifying under s. 943.0435, and whether Employees are subject to annual re-screening;

(b) The manner, method and date of all Employee screenings performed pursuant to this section, including the jurisdictions searched for offences qualifying under 943.0435;

(c) The results of the screening, specifically identifying the name, job description, and offense of any Employee qualifying as a Sexual Offender.

(4) The disclosure shall contain a prominent acknowledgement of receipt to be signed by the Tenant in the presence of a witness.  The disclosure and acknowledgement shall be maintained within the Tenant file and available to the Tenant upon oral or written request.

(5) No Rental Agreement covered herein is complete until the disclosure required in this section has been signed by the Tenant.

(6) A Tenant shall have three (3) business days after completing the Rental Agreement to cancel the agreement and have all Deposit monies returned without penalty if a Sex Offender was disclosed and acknowledged as an Employee as required in this section.

(7) Any Rental agreement entered into after the effective date of this section is voidable by the Tenant if a Sex Offender was employed at the time of the completion of the Rental agreement and the disclosure required herein did not identify an Employee who qualified as a Sex Offender at that time.  At the Tenant’s request, all Deposit monies shall be returned to the Tenant without penalty and without further regard to any remaining Tenant obligation under the Rental agreement. Excepted from this refund and release are any physical damages to the Premises caused by the Tenant.

(8) The disclosure required in this section shall be repeated upon renewal of all Rental Agreements.

END OF DRAFT

 

To learn more about the Florida Sex Offender Rental Notification Act, email: SafeRentingFL@gmail.com

 

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