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DeSantis signed a New Law to End squatters rights in Florida

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed legislation into law that eliminates squatters’ rights in the Sunshine State and increases penalties against offenders. 

"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," DeSantis said during a press conference on the signing in Orlando. 

The law will take effect July 1. DeSantis noted ahead of the signing that he believes Florida is the first state in the nation to take squatting issues head-on. 

Lawmakers in the state overwhelmingly voted in support of the bill earlier this month, sending it to DeSantis’ office. The law outlines that squatters will face criminal charges for illegally moving into a home and allows property owners to file an affidavit showing they legally own a property. 

Ron DeSantis discussing squatter bill

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill addressing squatters into law. (Gov. Ron DeSantis/FB)

Before the bill’s passage, squatters in Florida, as well in states from coast to coast, were considered tenants and required legal property owners to launch lengthy court battles to legally remove inhabitants from a home. 

"This is an important bill if you see the stories that happen," Republican state Sen. Keith Perry, who sponsored the bill, said as it made its way through the legislature, according to Wear TV. "It is egregious what people are getting away with under legislation."

Under the new law, property owners can now call on the sheriff’s office to immediately remove squatters from their homes if the suspects are unable to produce documents authorizing their residency by the property owner. 

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