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DeSantis signs bill to help property owners more easily eject squatters


(The Center Square) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Wednesday that he says will end the problem of squatters taking over homes in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis stated that squatters have taken over homes in states like New York and in some cases, have been murdering the homeowners when they attempt to evict them from their properties.

“Today, in the state of Florida, we say very simply, what passes muster in New York and California, is not passing muster here,” DeSantis said. “You are not going to be able to commandeer somebody’s private property and expect to get away with it.”

DeSantis stated that the “squatters’ scam” is going to be ended once and for all. He added that House Bill 621 would allow homeowners to quickly and legally remove a squatter from their property and increase penalties for those squatting.

DeSantis added that because of outdated laws, squatters knew there was a long process involved in getting them removed from a property and noted that the legislation would make this process more efficient.

“What you can do now if you’re the victim of squatting, you can simply fill out a form, give it to your local sheriff, and the sheriff is instructed to go and remove the people who are inhabiting your dwelling illegally,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis noted that because of the new legislation and the swiftness in which law enforcement can act, people will be more reluctant to occupy a dwelling in Florida illegally.

“You see these trends that happen in these other parts of the country, I think good leadership is looking and saying ok, we’re not gonna repeat what is going on in these failed jurisdictions,” DeSantis said. “So the Legislature was up to the task, and then here today we’re signing this into law, is gonna show the state of Florida is up to the task.”

DeSantis stated that he and the Legislature believe in the rule of law, and in private property rights and added that he thinks it’s good that people can aspire to own their own homes, including those who own seasonal homes in Florida.

“The squatters’ scam ends today with my signature on this piece of legislation and the state of Florida will be better for it,” DeSantis said.