‘Not in Florida’: DeSantis in action, ‘ending squatter scam once and for all’

Under Gov. Ron DeSantis’s unapologetic leadership, Florida continues to lead the nation when it comes to common-sense responses to the insanity facing many jurisdictions in America — and there are few things more insane than laws that favor squatters, essentially allowing them to commandeer another person’s home and live there rent-free.

When the Republican governor signed HB 621 into law in March, he declared that Florida was “ending this squatter scam once and for all.”

“While other states are siding with the squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system,” DeSantis said at a press conference at the time.

The new law “granting state law enforcement officials more power to remove squatters and raising criminal penalties for offenders” went into effect Monday, Fox News reported.

Florida has a unique situation with residents known as snowbirds, who leave the state to escape the sweltering summer heat only to return with the Chamber of Commerce weather, as DeSantis explained in a previous interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“We’ve got people that will be here for seven months of the year, and then they’ll go to Michigan or New York or even Canada. You come back after the summer and someone’s in your house, and then they just get to stay there for six months,” he said. “Now in Florida, you call up, you fill out a form, the sheriff comes, and the sheriff kicks him out of your property.”

“If we don’t have private property rights, we will not have a free society, so it is the bedrock Florida stands by, and we’re proud to do it,” he continued, showing a clear understanding of the bigger picture at play here.

Attorney Kevin Fabrikant, supervisor of Florida’s Eviction Law Firm, told Fox News the process can be costly for homeowners, beginning with a $300 filing fee.

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But under the new law, law enforcement officers whose hands were previously tied will be able to circumvent the court process and carry out evictions, so long as the homeowner files an affidavit and the intruder meets several criterion:

The squatter must have unlawfully entered the property, must have already been asked to leave by the homeowner, cannot be a current or former tenant of the home, and cannot be an immediate relative of the homeowner looking to get them off their property.

There is also a standard removal fee with an area sheriff’s department that runs around $100, and the attorney said the new law may not apply “if you let somebody into your property and you want them out.”

“If you’re a squatter, I wouldn’t come to Florida to live,” Fabrikant further advised.

Tom Tillison

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