State Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Anti-Squatting Bill to Permanently Close Infuriating Loophole

Lawmakers in Florida are finally addressing the problem of squatting, one of the most egregious property rights violations going on in America today.

This month, both chambers of the state Legislature unanimously passed a bill allowing law enforcement to immediately remove squatters without waiting weeks or months for a case to move through the courts, according to WJXT-TV.

If signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the measure would go into effect on July 1.

The move comes as a relief to Florida property owner Patti Peeples, who dealt with squatters last year.

“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,” she told WJXT.

Peeples shared her story during a state Senate Criminal Justice Committee hearing in February.

“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,” she said, according to Fox News. “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.”

It took Peeples over a month to get the law to evict the squatters, and in the meantime the crooks caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to her home.

“At the crux of this issue is just basic unfairness,” she told WJXT. “If we don’t have the right to inhabit our own property, then what kind of world are we living in?”

The bill also makes it a misdemeanor to present a fake lease and a felony to cause property damage in excess of $1,000 while squatting.

Naturally, liberals claimed before the bill’s passage that it would give “bad-acting landlords” the power to throw people on the streets, WUSF-AM reported.

“We see the language that says it’s limited to folks who are staying in the property against the will of the owner,” said Cynthia Laurent, a “housing justice campaigner” with the group Florida Rising. “But what we know to be true is that a process that’s so expedited won’t even allow a person the time to verify that they’re authorized to be there.”

However, the bill also protects legitimate tenants, allowing them to sue property owners if they are wrongfully evicted. Florida Rising told WJXT it is now “neutral” on the bill’s passage.

Without a doubt, something needed to be done. Squatting is a growing problem all across the country.

These people willfully move into somebody else’s home and defiantly occupy the property until the slow-acting legal system tosses them out. Then they just move on to the next home and start the clock all over again.

One expert recently warned that once the millions of illegals who have flooded our country realize that they can just live for free on other people’s property before eventually being kicked out, the problem will only get worse.

Florida legislators are doing the right thing by addressing this via the law. And it’s long past time other states did so as well.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

 

Thanks for sharing!