Monday, July 15, 2024

Florida homeowners use new legislation to combat squatters and protect against fraudulent activity

Florida’s HB 621 Gives Homeowners New Tools to Combat Squatters

Florida homeowners now have a new tool to protect their properties from squatters, as a new bill granting state law enforcement officials more power to remove squatters and raising criminal penalties for offenders has gone into effect. Governor Ron DeSantis announced the implementation of HB 621, aimed at putting an end to the “squatter scam” and protecting property owners in Florida.

The bill allows law enforcement officials to swiftly remove squatters from properties without the need for lengthy court processes. Governor DeSantis highlighted the importance of private property rights in maintaining a free society and emphasized Florida’s commitment to upholding these rights.

Under the new law, law enforcement officers can carry out evictions upon homeowner request, provided the squatter meets specific criteria and the homeowner files an affidavit. This streamlined process aims to prevent squatters from taking advantage of property owners and causing damages.

Attorney Kevin Fabrikant noted that Florida’s legal process for removing squatters was already efficient, typically taking about a month before the bill’s passage. In contrast, squatters in states like New York and California have posed significant challenges for homeowners, leading to costly and lengthy eviction processes.

The new legislation also imposes increased penalties for those who engage in squatting, including facing misdemeanor charges for false statements or causing damages while occupying a property. Governor DeSantis emphasized that the law targets individuals who cause harm to properties and disrupt the lives of homeowners.

With law enforcement now empowered to take action against squatters, property owners in Florida have a stronger defense against unauthorized occupants. The implementation of HB 621 signals the state’s commitment to protecting property rights and ensuring homeowners’ peace of mind.

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