Friday, April 12, 2013

Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Puts Kibosh On 44% Of County Adverse Possession 'Hijackings'; Subsequent Tax Payments By Record Owners Disqualify Claims

In Miami, Florida, WPLG-TV Channel 10 reports:

  • The Miami-Dade property appraiser canceled 44 percent of adverse possession claims in the county in response to the growing problem of squatters.

    In a news release mailed out Tuesday, the office said it received 41 claims in the first three months of 2013, which is more than half the total amount received in 2012.

    The office, which has 160 claims for all years on record, found 71 of them were non-compliant with Florida Statute Section 95.18, which states that if there is record of a tax payment by the property owner before April 1 following the year in which the tax is assessed, it no longer meets the requirements for claiming adverse possession.(1)

    “Our goal is to help put an end to the abuse of adverse possession claims," said Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera. "This effort is making it easier to ensure that those who file an adverse possession claim are complying with Florida law."

    A Local 10 investigation found squatting nearly tripled from 2011 to 2012 in Miami-Dade County.
Source: Property appraiser cancels adverse possession claims (Office cancels 44% of claims to respond to growing problem of squatters).

(1) Section 95.18(7) provides:
  • A property appraiser must remove the notation to the legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession claim has been submitted and shall remove the return from the property appraiser’s records if:

    (a-c) [...],

    (d) The owner of record or the tax collector provides to the property appraiser a receipt demonstrating that the owner of record has paid the annual tax assessment for the property subject to the adverse possession claim during the period that the person is claiming adverse possession.

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