DeSantis Slams Liberal States While Signing New Bill Into Law

Legislation SIGNED - Big Changes Coming!

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Florida is grappling with a significant homelessness issue, largely attributed to surging property insurance and taxes, which drive up rents, coupled with an influx of newcomers depleting available housing. Instances of individuals occupying properties unlawfully have exacerbated the situation. To address this, the state is introducing legislation aimed at curbing such occurrences.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB 621 into law on March 27, abolishing the rights of squatters in the state. This legislation simplifies the process for homeowners to evict individuals from their properties and imposes harsher penalties for those engaging in unlawful occupation. Scheduled to take effect on July 1, the new law sets forth three prerequisites for swiftly removing squatters from properties.

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  1. The property owner must have already directed the person to leave.
  2. The person must not be a former or current tenant currently in a legal dispute with the property owner.
  3. The individual must have unlawfully entered and remained on the property.

Should the property owner satisfy these requirements, they are empowered to request law enforcement officials to promptly expel the individual from the premises. Additionally, the law establishes felony charges for individuals falsely advertising property rentals or sales without ownership rights. Furthermore, those who squat and deliberately cause damages exceeding $1,000 can face felony charges.

Governor DeSantis emphasized that Florida is taking decisive action to combat squatting scams, in contrast to states like California and New York, which are perceived to be more sympathetic towards squatters.

Patti Peeples, a 61-year-old who owns an investment property in Jacksonville, Florida, was taken aback last year when she discovered unauthorized individuals residing in her house. Allegedly, two squatters unlawfully entered the property she was attempting to sell, altered the locks, and inflicted damage to the residence.

Upon confronting the squatters, they asserted their rights as legitimate tenants. Despite Peeples’ efforts to involve law enforcement, she was informed that criminal charges couldn’t be pursued.

In a separate recent incident, an immigrant who had been residing in Miami created a collection of TikTok videos advising fellow immigrants on seizing properties. Subsequently, the migrant is evading Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after failing to attend scheduled immigration appointments. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd of Florida conveyed to Fox News Digital his determination to take a firm stance against squatters and pledged to incarcerate offenders.