ERIN ELMORE: DeSantis enacts law to eliminate ‘squatters rights’ in Florida

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ERIN ELMORE: DeSantis enacts law to eliminate ‘squatters rights’ in Florida

ERIN ELMORE: DeSantis enacts law to eliminate 'squatters rights' in Florida



On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure aimed at eliminating “squatters’ “rights” in the state, responding to growing concerns surrounding recent squatting incidents. 

The new law not only removes squatters’ rights but also imposes stricter penalties for those found in violation, particularly targeting individuals who unlawfully occupy homes without legitimate claims to the property.

Addressing reporters in a press conference following the signing of the legislation, Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of protecting private property rights. 

“You are not going to be able to commandeer somebody’s private property and expect to get away with it. We are in the state of Florida ending the squatter scam once and for all,” the governor said.

The decision to enact this legislation comes in the wake of several high-profile squatting incidents, including cases in New York where homeowners found themselves in legal jeopardy when attempting to remove squatters from their properties. In one instance, a woman faced arrest after changing the locks on her $1 million property, as New York law protects tenants who have occupied a building for over 30 days.

Tragically, another incident in New York City resulted in the death of a woman following an altercation with squatters who had taken over her late mother’s apartment. The squatters, identifiedas teenagers, were subsequently arrested in connection with the incident.

Following signing this piece of legislation, DeSantis called out liberal states like California and New York for their refusal to crack down on squatters who are violating the property of law-abiding citizens.

“They’re siding with the squatters,” DeSantis said, referring to New York and California. “In fact, we have seen squatters move in and claim residence. This forces a massive, long, drawn-out judicial review before they can even be removed from the property. These are people that never had a right to be in the property, to begin with. Earlier this month in New York, a woman returned to a property she inherited to find squatters living there. She changed the locks to get them out, and the state of New York arrested her instead of the squatters.”

The issue of squatting has garnered additional attention with the circulation of viral social media content, including a video shared on TikTok featuring a Venezuelan national encouraging illegal immigrants to exploit squatters’ rights as a means to obtain free housing in the United States.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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