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Squatters Law

On July 1, 2024, a new piece of legislation went into effect in the state of Florida. This new law, section 82.036 of the Florida State Statutes, was established to defend the rights of residential property owners as it relates to individuals found illegally occupying, or “squatting,” in a residence that belongs to the property owner.

The law has been created to provide a limited alternative remedy to remove unauthorized persons from residential real property. If you are the owner or authorized agent of residential property, and the property is unlawfully occupied by persons who are refusing to vacate, you can request the Volusia Sheriff’s Office to remove the unauthorized persons from the property.

In order for the Volusia Sheriff’s Office to enforce F.S.S. 82.036, ALL of the following conditions must be met:

• The requesting person is the property owner or authorized agent of the property owner.

• The real property that is being occupied includes a residential dwelling.

• An unauthorized person or persons have unlawfully entered and remain or continue to reside on the property owner's property.

• The real property was not open to members of the public at the time the unauthorized person or persons entered.

• The property owner has directed the unauthorized person to leave the property.

• The unauthorized person or persons are not current or former tenants pursuant to a written or oral rental agreement authorized by the property owner.

• The unauthorized person or persons are not immediate family members of the property owner.

• There is no pending litigation related to the real property between the property owner and any known unauthorized person.

The owner or authorized agent is required to complete a form available on VSO’s website that will initiate this process. The form must be completed in its entirety with the required supporting documentation of a copy of a government issued identification attached, and for authorized agents, a power of attorney or other legal documents evidencing authority to act on the property owner’s behalf. This form is completed under penalty of perjury.

Once the form is completed, the owner or authorized agent will need to call VSO's non-emergency number, 386-239-8276. A deputy will respond to review the required documents and determine the next actions that will be taken.

If you have any further questions regarding the new squatters law, or any other civil related questions, please contact our Civil Unit at 386-254-4660.

Related forms:

Complaint to Remove Persons Unlawfully Occupying Residential Real Property.pdf

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