In Florida, a real estate investor recently faced a challenging situation with squatters occupying his vacant property. This experience led him to discover a little-known Florida statute that provides a faster and more cost-effective solution for landlords dealing with squatter issues. By utilizing this statute, landlords can bypass time-consuming court battles and expensive legal fees.
The investor's property was under contract for sale and vacant while awaiting permits for roof replacement. Upon visiting the house, he noticed that the locks had been tampered with and suspected unauthorized occupants. He called the police, but the squatters produced a false lease, which meant that he had to go through the court system to regain control of his property.
Desperate for a solution, the investor reached out to a local TV show that helps viewers solve legal problems. The show extensively covered his story, which caught the attention of a police sergeant. The officer informed the investor about the Florida statute that allows for the eviction of squatters with a signed affidavit, provided the squatter is a transient trespasser and not a former renter.
The investor followed the suggested process, which required closing his legal case and ensuring the police closed theirs. After signing the affidavit, the police removed the squatters from his property. This quick and effective resolution saved the investor a significant amount of time and money that would have been spent on legal fees and court proceedings.
Since then, the investor has been dedicated to raising awareness about this lesser-known statute among landlords and real estate professionals in Florida. Many real estate attorneys are not aware of this method, as it does not require their services, making it less relevant to their practice. By sharing his experience, the investor aims to help other landlords facing similar problems and potentially inspire similar legislation in other states and municipalities.
The investor's ordeal with squatters cost him an estimated $15,000 in damages to the walls and plumbing, as well as the loss of his original buyer. However, after the successful eviction, he put the house back on the market, increased the asking price by $15,000, and quickly found a new buyer, recouping his losses.
In the wake of his experience, the investor has received numerous requests from other landlords dealing with squatter problems, seeking advice on using the statute. He is committed to helping those in similar situations, offering guidance and insights into the process.
As awareness of this alternative eviction method grows, it has the potential to provide relief to landlords and property owners across Florida and beyond. The investor hopes that spreading the word about this statute will not only assist landlords in resolving squatter issues but also lead to the introduction of similar legislation in other jurisdictions, offering more efficient and cost-effective solutions for property owners.
Florida Statute § 82.04, which deals with unlawful detainer or trespass situations could help many landlords suffering with this situation. This statute allows a landlord to regain possession of their property if the person occupying it is a transient trespasser and not a tenant or former tenant. To utilize this statute, a landlord would need to follow proper legal procedures, including filing a complaint with the court and signing an affidavit stating that the person in question is a transient trespasser. It is always recommended to consult a legal professional for accurate information and advice on your specific situation.