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Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office addresses ‘squatting’ law set to go in effect July 1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla, — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is reminding property owners about the new “squatting” law set to go into effect July 1.

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The new law was established to “defend the rights of residential property owners as it relates to individuals found illegally occupying, or ‘squatting’, in a residence belonging to them,” JSO said in a news release Thursday.

Read: Gov. DeSantis signs bill targeting ‘residential squatters’

If you are the owner or authorized agent of a residential property and someone is unlawfully occupying it and refusing to leave, you can ask JSO to remove them.

However, for police to enforce the law, 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.

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When the law goes into effect, you’ll have to complete a form on JSO’s website, and then call the non-emergency number.

After, an officer will respond and determine the next steps.

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