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Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announces new squatting law where they can intervene starting July 1st

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) has announced a new law aimed at addressing unauthorized occupants, or “squatters,” in residential properties.

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The legislation, section 82.036 of the Florida State Statutes, will take effect on July 1.

This law is designed to protect residential property owners from individuals unlawfully occupying their properties. It offers a legal solution for removing unauthorized persons from residential real estate. Property owners or their authorized agents can request JSO’s assistance in removing unauthorized occupants if specific conditions are met.

Conditions for JSO Enforcement:
  • The requesting person must be the property owner or an authorized agent.
  • The property must include a residential dwelling.
  • Unauthorized persons must have unlawfully entered and remained on the property.
  • The property must not have been open to the public when the unauthorized persons entered.
  • The property owner must have directed the unauthorized persons to leave.
  • Unauthorized persons must not be current or former tenants under any rental agreement.
  • Unauthorized persons must not be immediate family members of the property owner.
  • There must be no pending litigation related to the property between the owner and any unauthorized persons.

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To begin this process, property owners or authorized agents must complete a form available on the JSO website starting July 1.

The form must be fully completed and include supporting documentation, such as a government-issued ID. Authorized agents must also provide a power of attorney or other legal documents proving their authority to act on behalf of the property owner. The form must be completed under penalty of perjury.

After completing the form, the property owner or agent must call JSO’s non-emergency number, 904-630-0500. An officer will review the documents and determine the next steps.

JSO will provide ongoing updates to the community as the legislation’s effective date approaches and will make the required form available on its website.

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