Gov. DeSantis castigates Katie Hobbs for veto of Arizona squatter measure
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, is joined by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, left, House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, right, during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'What kind of a message does that send?'

Gov. Ron DeSantis is condemning Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs for vetoing legislation that would have given cops the right to evict squatters.

“The Governor of Arizona just vetoed a bill that we signed here in Florida so that these squatters could be ejected. What kind of a message does that send? You’re saying you can squat in somebody’s house and basically they got to go through a six month process,” DeSantis said in Redington Beach.

“This bill fails to leverage existing legal mechanisms, respect the due process rights of lawful tenants, and minimize unintended consequences, such as for victims of domestic violence,” Hobbs wrote, as reported by a Phoenix television station.

In May, DeSantis signed HB 621, as he clearly did not share the Arizona Governor’s concerns about “unintended consequences” and “due process” when it came to this class of accused criminals.

“We are putting an end to the squatters scam in Florida,” DeSantis said. “While other states are siding with the squatters, we are protecting property owners and punishing criminals looking to game the system.”

Florida’s law gives homeowners the right to ask police to expel people who have illegally entered their property and been directed to leave but failed to comply. This does not apply to tenants with whom they may be embroiled in legal disputes.

The bill created what the Governor’s Office calls “harsh penalties” for squatters, with false statements to obtain or otherwise usurp property rights illegally meriting first-degree misdemeanor charges.

Squatters who cause more than $1,000 in damages are subject to second-degree penalties, while those trying to sell or rent out properties they don’t own are subject to first-degree felony sanctions.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Dont Say FLA

    April 24, 2024 at 11:19 am

    Is Dee done pretending they’re the Governor of New York?

    Now they’re the Governor of Arizona?

    Was the pressure of the failed campaign and the relentless mockery too much for Rhonda Dee to bear? Have they cracked under the pressure? Do we have 2+ years of a lame duck Governor who is suffering from split (lack of) personalities now compounding with the pre-existing delusions of competence?

    • Guam Might Tip

      April 24, 2024 at 12:01 pm

      Of course he can comment. I’m sure other Governor’s will chime in on this as well. That Governor in Arizona is an idiot. What about the rights of property owners? Why don’t you move to AZ, buy yourself a house, and then let the squatters take it?

      • Dont Say FLA

        April 24, 2024 at 12:31 pm

        That Governor in Arizona is an idiot, yet Arizona is where the west coast anti-vaxxers all fled so they could live in a well run state. Same as east coasters who fled to Florida. Ergo, you’re saying Rhonda Dee DeSantis is an idiot too. I agree.

        • Jorge

          April 25, 2024 at 1:28 pm

          Your comment makes no sense and follows no clear line of thought, other than you don’t like Ron Desantis. I assure you if your property had been taken over by squatters, you’d be crying about the governor of AZ. Try looking at things from another perspective other than yours. Squatting is a real problem.

          • Dont Say FLA

            April 26, 2024 at 9:50 am

            Don’t quote me on this because elementary school was a very long time ago, but, IIRC, I used the commutative property as the basis for my comment.

            You remember the one: if A is like B and B is like C, then A is like C. Remember? That’s the commutative property, right?

          • Dont Say FLA

            April 26, 2024 at 9:53 am

            My comment about handling squatters never did exit from mod delay land.

            Squatters are only a problem when you leave it to the courts. You open your front door and there’s somebody there that ain’t supposed to be there, you stamd your gryund. Problem solved without delay.

      • Dont Say FLA

        April 24, 2024 at 12:36 pm

        Also, heads up, I expressed an opinion about how to handle squatters but it’s gone on a break in mod land. Maybe it’ll show up later.

    • Andrea Sleeper McCurdy

      April 24, 2024 at 12:09 pm

      If the “Dee” you’re referring to is DeSantis, then I completely agree with you. I find it appalling that after he was forced out of the Presidential election, he came back to Florida with his guns cooked, locked, and loaded to put as many discriminatory and ludicrous laws into place that he could. He reigns over Florida as if he were a king! I’ve lived here since 1977. I am so grateful my children are grown and are not being subjected to his discriminatory and hate based laws regarding education. I still can’t wrap my head around his 2 biggies: #1. Slavery was good for black people & #2. Climate change isn’t real, as we watch our beaches erode and our beautiful coral dying due to the increasing temperatures of our waters. I could go on, but I’ll just vote instead. I also encourage every eligible voter to do the same, before all women and children are subjected to his racist lies and ridiculous bans on reproductive rights!

      • Dont Say FLA

        April 24, 2024 at 12:35 pm

        Yep that’s them. They proclaim themself to be Ron Dee Santis because of all the bullying and being called Rhonda when they was a kid, but the whole Dee name they gave themself is just as bad, imo.

        Rhonda Dee DeSantis is Florida’s real bullying victim who was really treated so unfairly.

        As a child.

        Which they still are a child on the inside, so it seems, by all evidences and appearances.

        Poor lil’ fella. Almost feel sorry for them. ALMOST!

  • PeterH

    April 24, 2024 at 12:45 pm

    I guess DeSantis has solved all of Florida’s problems! Hey Ron have you replaced the millions of Florida’s unregulated septic systems that leak effluent into the Gulf after every rain storm?

    Just thought I’d ask for a friend who lives in an annual red tide zone.

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 24, 2024 at 1:01 pm

      Moms For Liberty = Used Tampon Flushers because whatever happens after they flush, that is somebody else’s problem and others having to deal with makes the MFLs feel so powerful

  • LexT

    April 25, 2024 at 8:11 am

    Even in Florida, squatters still have rights. If the squatter has some legal theory of ownership or tenancy they get their day in Court. What this nation is addressing is the fact that legal systems are by their nature slow. By being slow we are punishing landowners by not resolving ownership. The other unsaid thing is that in most states when someone does not pay rent they can either file bankruptcy or have an uncollectible judgment so the landowner is not eventually made whole. There are still protections for a squatter in the “right”, things just move faster.

Comments are closed.


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