Pierre J  Denis

Pierre J Denis

Associate Broker / REALTORĀ®

License #: 3080712

RE/MAX Excellence

(561) 245-1710
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How to Prevent Squatter Intrusion + New Florida Law Against Squatter Scams

You might have seen it on the news lately — reports of squatters living in vacant properties are on the rise (realtor.com/news 2024) and it is becoming a difficult problem to solve for the homeowners. If you do discover that someone has moved in without your permission, it is crucial to act quickly and seek legal assistance to remove them as soon as possible.

Squatters can cause damage to your property, create safety concerns for your neighbors, and even pose legal risks for you as the property owner. It can take a lot of effort (and money!) to evict a squatter, but by taking preventative measures and staying vigilant, you can protect your home and avoid the headache of dealing with a squatter intrusion.

Do Not Let it Happen to Your House

• Regularly check on your property. Squatters target homes that are vacant and "unwatched." Visit it regularly or ask a close neighbor to keep an eye out and to let you know if they notice any unusual activity going on.

 • Consider installing a security alarm system that will alert both you and the authorities if someone tries to break in. Make sure to advertise that the house is protected by an alarm system, as this can act as a deterrent to potential squatters.

 • Squatters have been known to block "Ring" doorbells so consider installing cameras that are secured in place where they cannot easily be blocked or removed.

 • If the property is unoccupied for an extended period of time, consider hiring a property management company to keep an eye out and take care of any maintenance issues that may arise. This will help ensure that the property is well-maintained and less likely to attract squatters.

NOTE: In case squatters do manage to get in, call the police immediately. Do not attempt to handle it yourself because it can create legal issues for you later on.

New Florida Law Against Squatter Scams Effective July 2024

House Bill 621 provides property owners the right to request authorities to remove squatters, and penalizes persons who knowingly and willfully circumvent the system. This new law will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs law squashing squatters' rights.

Property Rights; Authorizes property owners or authorized agents to request assistance from sheriff for immediately removing unauthorized occupants from residential dwelling under certain conditions; requires specified complaint; provides requirements for sheriff; authorizes arrest of unauthorized occupant; provides that sheriff is not liable to any party for loss, destruction, or damage; provides that property owner or agent is not liable to any party for loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal property unless it was wrongfully removed; prohibits unlawfully detaining, or occupying or trespassing upon, residential dwelling intentionally & causing at least specified amount of damage; provides criminal penalties for any person who knowingly & willfully presents false document purporting to be valid lease agreement, deed, or other instrument conveying real property rights; prohibits listing or advertising for sale, or renting or leasing, residential real property. (HB 621: Property Rights, 2024)


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