When officials can remove squatters under new Florida law

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — Gov. DeSantis hopes to protect homeowners against squatters under House Bill 621.

The Governor signed the bill on Wednesday saying the state intends to end the “squatters scam.”

With the new law, a homeowner can contact law enforcement to remove a squatter from their property if the following conditions are met:

The individual unlawfully entered and remains on the property The individual was directed to leave the property but hasn’t The individual is not a current or former tenant in a legal dispute

“The Sheriff is instructed to go and remove the people who are inhabiting your dwelling illegally,” the Governor said.

Attorney Karl Schmitz says it’s important for owners to verify the conditions are met or they could face penalties.

However, Schmitz explains squatters have a history of gaming the system.

“If they claim that they have a valid lease agreement, the Sheriff won’t get involved until the courts rule that it’s not valid,” he said.

HB 621 also creates penalties for squatters and for people who teach squatting. Those penalities include:

First-degree misdemeanor for making a false statement in writing to obtain real property or for knowingly

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