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Florida Legislature Unanimously Passes Anti-Squatting Bill: Immediate Evictions



Clear Facts

  • The Florida Legislature has unanimously passed a bill that would allow police to immediately remove squatters, a significant shift from the lengthy court processes currently required in most states.
  • The legislation, if signed into law, would permit police to remove squatters without a lease authorized by the property owner and would introduce criminal penalties.
  • The bill is now on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk and, if enacted, would also allow wrongfully evicted tenants to sue to regain access and recover attorneys’ fees and damages.

The Florida Legislature has taken a decisive step towards addressing the issue of squatting, unanimously passing a bill that would allow police to immediately evict squatters. This is a marked departure from the protracted court cases that are typically required to deal with such situations in most states.

“It gives me a real feeling of positive hope that we still have the ability to discuss challenges in our society and work with our legislatures in a bipartisan way,” said Patti Peeples, a Florida property owner who experienced firsthand the frustration of being barred from her own home by squatters.

The proposed legislation, which sailed through both chambers of the state legislature earlier this month, would empower police to remove squatters who do not possess a lease authorized by the property owner. This is a significant change from the current law, under which landlords often have to navigate a lengthy and costly legal process to remove squatters.

“Imagine for a moment that you leave from your day of serving the citizens of Florida as a senator and you return to your home,” Peeples told the state Senate Criminal Justice Committee in February. “But when you walk in, there are strangers sitting on your sofa, watching your TV, eating your food.”

“You ask who they are and what they are doing, and they tell you that they have rented this house and present you with a lease,” she continued.

The bill initially faced opposition from advocacy group Florida Rising, which expressed concerns that landlords could exploit the measures to hastily evict legitimate tenants. However, the group adopted a neutral stance after amendments were introduced to safeguard legal occupants, according to a spokesperson.

The bill, now awaiting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature, would also allow tenants who have been wrongfully evicted to sue to regain access to their homes and recover attorneys’ fees and damages.

Last year, it took weeks for the squatters in Peeples’ home to be evicted. They had produced a lease and claimed they were victims of a rental scam — a tactic the squatters had used before, according to court records.

By the time they were finally removed, Peeples’ house had suffered thousands of dollars worth of damage.


“I’ve had so many emotions,” Peeples said. “I’ve had just intense anger, I have felt defeated, I felt wronged by the legal system, I felt wronged by the police system.”

If the Florida legislation becomes law, intentionally presenting a fraudulent lease would be classified as a misdemeanor, and selling or leasing someone else’s property would be a felony, as would causing more than $1,000 in property damage.

Flash Shelton, a handyman-turned-squatter hunter, believes that squatting laws need to be tougher so landlords could more easily evict illegal occupants. He cited Atlanta, where, according to the National Rental Home Council, around 1,200 homes have been taken over by squatters.

“If we were to criminalize it, that would enable us to send in the National Guard to sweep that whole neighborhood and get those 1,200 houses clear,” Shelton said.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. John

    March 20, 2024 at 10:00 pm

    Why in the world did dollar tree buy family dollar. That store is a joke
    Their prices stink.owning that joke could drag business into the ground. Sounds more like bad management decisions. That’s why sears went bankrupt. Stupid management moves.

  2. Shirley Gregory

    March 24, 2024 at 7:41 am

    I agree with Shelton – it should be a crime to trespass on someone else’s property whether a house is empty or not!

  3. massvocals

    March 24, 2024 at 7:28 pm

    why did you refuse too publish Florida Legislature has unanimously passed a bill that would allow police to immediately remove squatters, a significant shift from the lengthy court processes currently required in most states. why is the bill not shown ,

  4. CandygramForMongo

    March 25, 2024 at 6:38 am

    Good to see a state that stands up for its citizens. Maybe 49 others should take a good look in the mirror and follow suit.

  5. 1PatriotForever

    March 25, 2024 at 6:38 am

    Praise GOD and to hell with the Liberals & the ACLU. Ours is ours, Taking it by some funky law to support the liars, parasites & liberals STEALING from others is DEAD now, & DeSantis should sign, is over. Take that you easy mark scum balls

  6. Mark

    March 25, 2024 at 6:44 am

    Glad I live in Florida where sanity rules.

  7. Me

    March 25, 2024 at 7:05 am

    Laws should support the innocent, not the criminals.

  8. Buff

    March 25, 2024 at 7:10 am

    Sign the bill Ron, squatters should be evicted immediately without question and the home owner should not be made out as the criminal. This is trespassing of private property and the castle doctrine should be in effect.

  9. Yank

    March 25, 2024 at 7:24 am

    I cannot believe what some states do if squatters take over a home, the true owner has to got to court, often very lengthy process. Glad that Florida has taken the stance and sides with the true owner.

  10. Tamituna

    March 25, 2024 at 7:53 am

    Florida could well be the last vestige of freedom found in these United States.

  11. Kevin

    March 25, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Common sense wins again in Florida . Full speed ahead Governor DeSantis !

  12. Bob

    March 25, 2024 at 9:06 am

    Don’t stop now! Keep the ball rolling and introduce common sense laws that will lawfully protect the rights of law abiding citizens. How abot illegal immigration? How about election integrity with massive fines and penalties? How about crime bills with accountability? You are off to a great start and have a governor that will support your efforts. Your record of success will be the template for the rest of the country.

  13. A. B.. Murphy

    March 25, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Now see if Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi will follow suit. I did property inspections for years
    in these states and dealt with the “residents” of many vacant properties which didn’t seem to have any
    problems saying in their “adopted” homes that were supposed to be vacant.

  14. CeCe

    March 25, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    Yes, let’s see if the blue states follow suit? I doubt it very much!!!
    They’ll be happy to see the illegals off the streets, doesn’t matter how much trouble, inconvenience & money it’s causing the owners of the homes!!!
    My sister heard on the news that there is someone on YouTube showing you how to be a squatter or an illegal tenant step-by-step.
    No wonder it’s so rampant anymore!!
    Yeah! Let’s go, Brandon!!!
    So glad I moved to Florida 23 years ago!!

    Now let’s get him the hell out of office!!

  15. CeCe

    March 26, 2024 at 3:23 pm

    Just wanted to correct myself about squatters and illegal tenants.
    It wasn’t on YouTube. It was on TikTok!!!

    Get them all out of Florida!!

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