Click here for printable Call-to-Action. Contains Senate Committee contact information, talking points, and instructions for your call to action on SB 1732.
In Summary, SB 1732:
- Creates new statute 83.555 “Landlord immunity from liability for leasing to persons with certain criminal records.”
- While this bill was intended to encourage landlords to rent to persons with past criminal offense, it appears to do the opposite by listing several offenses that are excluded.
- The list of excluded offenses leaves one to wonder “what offenses WOULD actually be allowable?”
- As written, this bill would discourage landlords from renting to persons with MOST criminal offenses.
- As written, it would cause landlords to avoid renting to ANY persons with criminal offenses.
- The sponsor and the members of each committee need to provide an explanation of this bill, and supporting data.
We have tried repeated to reach Senator Bracy’s office regarding his proposed bill SB 1732. Sen Bracy has always been a supporter of second chances and justice reform, but the content of his proposed bill appears to restrict housing to many of those with past offenses, including sexual offenses. It provides liability immunity to landlords who rent to persons with past criminal offenses, except for the following offenses:
- Section 777.04, relating to criminal attempts, solicitation, and conspiracy;
- Section 782.04, relating to murder;
- Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping;
- Section 787.06, relating to human trafficking;
- Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery;
- Section 796.07(2)(f), relating to soliciting, inducing, enticing, or procuring another person to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.
- Section 810.02, relating to burglary
- Section 812.13(2)(a) or (b), relating to robbery while carrying a weapon;
- Section 827.03, relating to abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child;
- Section 893.13(1)(c), (d), (e), (f), or (h), relating to enhanced penalties for selling, manufacturing, delivering controlled substances;
- The tenant is required to register as a sexual offender under s. 943.0435; and The landlord, manager, or agent knew or should have reasonably known of the conviction, finding, or plea.
It makes one ask….”what offenses ARE applicable for Landlord liability immunity?”
Contact the sponsor of the bill and ask for clarification. Because this bill is vague, contains multiple exclusions, and is in no way supported by evidence that ANY offense should be excluded, then ask that this bill be withdrawn.
Here are other talking points:
- Bills like SB 1732 actually increase recidivism for citizens who have served their time for their crime and are trying to reintegrate into their community and lead law-abiding lives.
- Makes it difficult for people to reintegrate into society by denying them decent housing and economic opportunity.
- Harms not only people who have served their time, but also harms the families of these people who are not given an opportunity to move to a better, safer neighborhood because Landlords will be afraid to rent to them.
- There is no evidence or research in the bill showing why certain offenses were excluded.
- Providing stabile housing should apply to all returning citizens who have served their time.
- Bills such as SB 1732 “Legislate people into homelessness.”
- Keeping families together combined with the emotional support provided by families for people who have been convicted of a crime increases public safety because it helps with that citizen’s rehabilitation.
- That family support can make the difference between a successful, productive, contributing member of the community and recidivism. Passing this bill making it more difficult for people to obtain housing will have the opposite effect by keeping families apart.
- Legislating people into homelessness increases crime and decreases public safety.
- Passage of this law does not increase public safety. It is making it difficult for citizens who have non-contact offenses or who were convicted as juveniles to have access to housing.
- This bill is just a “catch all” for registered citizens. It does not distinguish between the level/severity of the convictions like many other sections of the bill. Since the Florida registry is not a tiered system, it treats a 15 year old person who was caught having consensual sex with another 15 year old, and who now has to register, exactly the same way as it treats a person who committed a violent sexual offense.
- This bill deprives families of people whose loved ones are not a threat to public safety a chance at decent housing by making landlords afraid to rent to them because one family member has to register.
- This bill is an attempt to dissuade certain citizens who have completed their sentences from staying in or returning to Florida. While passage would make it more difficult, it will not stop these citizens who want to return to be near their loved ones. They have a right to return to their families. This bill should not discriminate/exclude anyone.
LINKS to the Bill Content: