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We help companies from all different industries with background screening to ensure they make better hiring decisions. This blog serves as a tool to help bridge the gap between the importance of background screening and the reality that can occur from not doing it properly. Today’s story focuses on landlord and property management companies screening policies, and what can go wrong if you don’t choose the right background check provider. 

Indiana apartment maintenance worker charged with murder of 15 year old girl

An Indianapolis company is investigating following the murder of a 15 year old girl by one of their maintenance workers. The 34 year old man, we will call “Worker,”  who was charged with the murder was hired by Carriage House East Apartments in June of this year as a maintenance worker. 

According to the company’s management firm, they ran the suspect through their background check system, which did not flag the fact that Worker had pending criminal cases outside of Indiana. He had warrants out of Florida AND Georgia for narcotics, handgun, and traffic offenses when he was hired in June, despite the background screening.

This is the unfortunate cost of cheap background check services.

Not all background screening companies are the same, and there are many out there who will simply run a name through a system and claim that it’s a thorough background investigation. When partnering with a background screening vendor, you should be confident they will go the extra mile to ensure your company is protected.

If you don’t work with an ethical background check company, you could miss details that could lead to the wrong hire, which as we can see here, can cost someone their life. The management company will have a stain on their reputation for the immediate future, and ultimately no one will ever forget this tragic example of a failed background screening. 

Read More: Property Manager Background Checks for Rental Property Owners – What to Know

Florida’s ‘Miya’s Law’ aims to prevent things like this from happening.

Florida has already escalated legislation in their state from a similar situation back in 2021. Miya Marcano was tragically murdered in her apartment in Florida in 2021. As of January 1, 2023, all landlords or licensees of transient and non-transient apartments in the state of Florida are required to submit all employees to undergo a background screening provided by a consumer reporting agency done in accordance with federal Fair Credit Reporting Act in order to be employed. 

If a person has been found guilty or pled no contest to certain offenses, involving violence and disregard for safety, they cannot be employed by a landlord or property management company. The law also requires “apartments to maintain a log accounting for the issuance and return of all keys for each dwelling unit, and establish policies for the issuance and return of unit keys, as well as storage and access to unissued keys. An apartment’s key logs and employee background screening files are subject to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s annual inspection of apartments.”

With Florida enacting their law for their state, the Indiana story demonstrates we could see further legislation that requires further investigation and logging of property management employees.

Proper Background Investigation Can Prevent Worst Possible Scenarios

It’s easy to read these types of stories and think “well that wouldn’t happen to me.” These are bold reminders that these things happen, all over the country, and if the company had been doing proper, thorough background screenings of these employees, they could have been prevented. No matter what type of company you work for, the wrong hire can cost you significant time, money, and damage to your reputation. Hiring the wrong person may not always result in a teenage girl being murdered, but the reality is 2 cases above did. This highlights the importance of maintaining prioritization of employment screening for all employees. 

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about the difference between a good background check and a cheap, fast background check, give us a call. We are more than willing to go over how we can help your company make better hiring decisions and protect your company’s reputation.