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Florida: law to deal with squatting goes into effect

The rule aims to protect private property from trespassers, who will face stiffer penalties.

Ron DeSantis(Cordon Press)

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The law enacted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to deal with squatting went into effect Monday. The new rule gives power to the relevant authorities to eject property invaders and impose stronger penalties.

It was in late March when DeSantis turned HB 621 - pushed by the Republican Party - into a new rule contained in the state code, with the goal of protecting private property and providing property owners with "remedies against squatting."

"We are putting an end to the squatter scam in Florida. While other states side with squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals who seek to circumvent the system."Ron DeSantis

Once the bill was drafted and introduced in the Florida Congress, it received majority support in both the House and Senate. It was subsequently sent to DeSantis' desk for his signature to bring it into law.


Under the new law, property owners will be able to ask authorities to immediately intervene and remove any person who has illegally entered and remains on a property.

Unlawful trespassers will face severe penalties, as will those who "encourage occupancy and/or teach others the scam."

Under the legislation, making a false statement in writing to obtain real property will be considered a first-degree misdemeanor. In addition, unlawfully occupying or trespassing in a residential dwelling and intentionally causing $1,000 or more damage to the property will be considered a second-degree felony.

Also, the law states that knowingly advertising to sell or rent residential property without authorization or lawful ownership will be considered a first-degree felony.