Changes in the works for controversial adverse possession law

Lawmakers agree to close loopholes

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Thoughts of 'Loki Boy', the elusive Boca Raton squatter, still haunt neighbors along Golden Harbour Drive.

"I really didn't expect anything, I figured he'd still be in the house at this point," said Becky Davis, who has lived there for 20 years.

The 23 year old was no where to be found when Bank of America came to evict him in February. But his presence pushed local lawmakers to redefine the adverse possession law.

Right now someone can gain legal rights to a home simply by living there. Lawmakers want to make it illegal to move in right away.
"It prevents squatters from living in a home undocumented and illegal for seven years. Instead, they need to squat on the actual land for seven years before they enter the home."
State representative Slosberg says the goal is to discourage squatters from even trying to use the law. But one  national group says changing the law isn't enough, it should be gone.
"When the law is amended what is to keep a legal professional from challenging it? The law was enacted for one purpose and its been twisted and abused and used," said Dwayne Robinson, of People for the Repeal of Adverse Possession Law.
"I'm surprised they're keeping the law on the books. I don't really know what purpose it serves," said Davis.
Lawmakers say one step at a time. Davis is pleased something is being done.  

The bill is on Governor Scott's desk, awaiting his signature.


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