We’ve all heard the stories — someone breaks into a home while the owner is away and then claims they have the right to live there. They may even produce documents that show they signed a lease and paid rent.

Turns out not all squatters are simple burglars. Some are victims of scams perpetrated by those who have no right to rent the property to them in the first place.

In some states it has taken as much as two years to remove the squatter from an occupied home. And in some cases, when the squatter finally vacates, the home is left in disrepair.

In Florida, the Governor is making sure no one will have to endure this type of situation.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has successfully passed legislation that would assure the rights of the property owner instead of favoring the squatter, making it easier to remove them immediately.

“We are putting an end to the squatters scam in Florida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “While other states are siding with the squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system.”

Florida’s 2024 bill is HB 621 – https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2024/621

What does the bill do?

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.

And the story:

Governor DeSantis Signs Legislation to End the Squatters Scam in Florida

Perhaps New Hampshire’s legislature should pass a similar bill.