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House Bill 621: Reclaiming Your Property Rights in Florida

Florida’s House Bill 621 (HB 621), which went into effect on July 1, 2024, has significantly impacted the state’s landlord-tenant landscape. This legislation, which created Florida Statutes § 82.036, addresses the growing issue of unauthorized occupants in rental properties, offering a streamlined process for eviction in specific situations.

Expedited Eviction for Unwanted Tenants

Prior to HB 621, removing unauthorized tenants often involved lengthy court battles. Landlords faced a cumbersome process that could take weeks, even months, to reclaim their property. HB 621 offers a solution by allowing landlords to seek assistance from the sheriff for immediate removal of unauthorized occupants under specific conditions enumerated in the new law.

Understanding Your Rights Under HB 621

For Florida landlords to take advantage of this expedited eviction process, it’s crucial to understand the key requirements outlined in HB 621. Here’s a breakdown of the conditions that must be met:

  • You are the legal owner or authorized agent: HB 621 applies to situations where the requesting party is the rightful owner of the property or someone officially designated to act on their behalf.
  • Residential dwelling involved: The law applies specifically to situations involving residential rental properties, such as single-family homes, apartments, or townhouses.
  • Unlawful occupation: There must be clear evidence that unauthorized individuals have entered the property without permission and are currently residing there.
  • Previously secured property: The property must not have been openly accessible to the public at the time the unauthorized entry occurred.
  • Demand to vacate ignored: The landlord must have demonstrably instructed the unauthorized occupants to leave the premises before pursuing eviction through HB 621.
  • Not a tenant or family member: The occupants cannot be current or former tenants with a valid rental agreement, nor can they be immediate family members of the property owner.
  • No ongoing legal disputes: There must be no existing legal action related to the property between the landlord and any of the unauthorized occupants.

When all these conditions are met, HB 621 empowers landlords to take swifter action against those who are illegally occupying their properties. Landlords in such a situation have an alternative remedy to remove these individuals by contacting the sheriff’s office of the county in which the property lies. This new legal landscape aims to deter future instances of unauthorized squatting and protect the rights of property owners.

Conclusion: Seeking Legal Guidance and the Long-Term Impact of HB 621

House Bill 621 offers Florida landlords a streamlined process for evicting unauthorized occupants in specific situations. By understanding the key requirements outlined in the bill, landlords can take advantage of this new legal tool.

However, it’s important to remember that this blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The legal landscape can be complex, and every situation has unique nuances. For tailored guidance on navigating the eviction process under HB 621, consulting with an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law is highly recommended.

Only time will tell how effective House Bill 621 will be in deterring unauthorized occupancy and protecting property rights in Florida. While some view it as a positive step forward, others may raise concerns about potential unintended consequences. Following the implementation of HB 621, close observation and data analysis will be crucial in determining its long-term impact on the state’s landlord-tenant landscape.


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