The 2012 Florida Statutes
LIMITATIONS OF ACTIONS; ADVERSE POSSESSION
View Entire Chapter
RELATED STORY: Squatter legally moves into Boca mansion bitly link: http://bit.ly/WSqxvE
195.18 Real property actions; adverse possession without color of title.—
(1) When the occupant has, or those under whom the occupant claims have, been in actual continued occupation of real property for 7 years under a claim of title exclusive of any other right, but not founded on a written instrument, judgment, or decree, the property actually occupied is held adversely if the person claiming adverse possession made a return, as required under subsection (3), of the property by proper legal description to the property appraiser of the county where it is located within 1 year after entering into possession and has subsequently paid, subject to s. 197.3335, all taxes and matured installments of special improvement liens levied against the property by the state, county, and municipality.
(2) For the purpose of this section, property is deemed to be possessed if the property has been:
(a) Protected by substantial enclosure;
(b) Cultivated or improved in a usual manner; or
(c) Occupied and maintained.
(3) A person claiming adverse possession under this section must make a return of the property by providing to the property appraiser a uniform return on a form provided by the Department of Revenue. The return must include all of the following:
(a) The name and address of the person claiming adverse possession.
(b) The date that the person claiming adverse possession entered into possession of the property.
(c) A full and complete legal description of the property that is subject to the adverse possession claim.
(d) A notarized attestation clause that states:
UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I DECLARE THAT I HAVE READ THE FOREGOING RETURN AND THAT THE FACTS STATED IN IT ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.
(e) A description of the use of the property by the person claiming adverse possession.
(f) A receipt to be completed by the property appraiser.
The property appraiser shall refuse to accept a return if it does not comply with this subsection. The executive director of the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54(4) for the purpose of implementing this subsection. The emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
(4) Upon the submission of a return, the property appraiser shall:
(a) Send, via regular mail, a copy of the return to the owner of record of the property that is subject to the adverse possession claim, as identified by the property appraiser’s records.
(b) Inform the owner of record that, under s. 197.3335, any tax payment made by the owner of record before April 1 following the year in which the tax is assessed will have priority over any tax payment made by an adverse possessor.
(c) Add a notation at the beginning of the first line of the legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession claim has been submitted.
(d) Maintain the return in the property appraiser’s records.
(5)(a) If a person makes a claim of adverse possession under this section against a portion of a parcel of property identified by a unique parcel identification number in the property appraiser’s records:
1. The person claiming adverse possession shall include in the return submitted under subsection (3) a full and complete legal description of the property sufficient to enable the property appraiser to identify the portion of the property subject to the adverse possession claim.
2. The property appraiser may refuse to accept the return if the portion of the property subject to the claim cannot be identified by the legal description provided in the return, and the person claiming adverse possession must obtain a survey of the portion of the property subject to the claim in order to submit the return.
(b) Upon submission of the return, the property appraiser shall follow the procedures under subsection (4), and may not create a unique parcel identification number for the portion of property subject to the claim.
(c) The property appraiser shall assign a fair and just value to the portion of the property, as provided in s. 193.011, and provide this value to the tax collector to facilitate tax payment under s. 197.3335(3).
(6)(a) If a person makes a claim of adverse possession under this section against property to which the property appraiser has not assigned a parcel identification number:
1. The person claiming adverse possession must include in the return submitted under subsection (3) a full and complete legal description of the property which is sufficient to enable the property appraiser to identify the property subject to the adverse possession claim.
2. The property appraiser may