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October 21, 2014    Search Statutes:      
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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title VIII
LIMITATIONS
Chapter 95
LIMITATIONS OF ACTIONS; ADVERSE POSSESSION
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F.S. 95.18
95.18 Real property actions; adverse possession without color of title.
(1) When the possessor has been in actual continued possession 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, or when those under whom the possessor claims meet these criteria, the property actually possessed is held adversely if the person claiming adverse possession:
(a) Paid, subject to s. 197.3335, all outstanding taxes and matured installments of special improvement liens levied against the property by the state, county, and municipality within 1 year after entering into possession;
(b) 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 30 days after complying with paragraph (a); and
(c) 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 for all remaining years necessary to establish a claim of adverse possession.
(2) For the purpose of this section, property is deemed to be possessed if the property has been:
(a) Protected by substantial enclosure; or
(b) Cultivated, maintained, or improved in a usual manner.
(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. I FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE RETURN DOES NOT CREATE ANY INTEREST ENFORCEABLE BY LAW IN THE DESCRIBED PROPERTY.

(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.
(g) Dates of payment by the possessor of all outstanding taxes and matured installments of special improvement liens levied against the property by the state, county, or municipality under paragraph (1)(a).
(h) The following notice provision at the top of the first page, printed in at least 12-point uppercase and boldfaced type:

THIS RETURN DOES NOT CREATE ANY INTEREST ENFORCEABLE BY LAW IN THE DESCRIBED PROPERTY.

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 refuse to accept a return if 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 property subject to the claim in order to submit the return.
(b) Upon submission of the return, the property appraiser shall:
1. Assign a parcel identification number to the property and assign a fair and just value to the property as provided in s. 193.011;
2. 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; and
3. Maintain the return in the property appraiser’s records.
(7) 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) The person claiming adverse possession notifies the property appraiser in writing that the adverse possession claim is withdrawn;
(b) The owner of record provides a certified copy of a court order, entered after the date the return was submitted to the property appraiser, establishing title in the owner of record;
(c) The property appraiser receives a certified copy of a recorded deed, filed after the date of the submission of the return, from the person claiming adverse possession to the owner of record transferring title of property along with a legal description describing the same property subject to the adverse possession claim; or
(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.
(8) The property appraiser shall include a clear and obvious notation in the legal description of the parcel information of any public searchable property database maintained by the property appraiser that an adverse possession return has been submitted to the property appraiser for a particular parcel.
(9) A person who occupies or attempts to occupy a residential structure solely by claim of adverse possession under this section prior to making a return as required under subsection (3), commits trespass under s. 810.08.
(10) A person who occupies or attempts to occupy a residential structure solely by claim of adverse possession under this section and offers the property for lease to another commits theft under s. 812.014.
History.s. 7, ch. 1869, 1872; s. 6, ch. 4055, 1891; RS 1291; GS 1722; RGS 2936; CGL 4656; s. 1, ch. 19254, 1939; ss. 13, 14, ch. 74-382; s. 1, ch. 77-102; s. 523, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 2011-107; s. 1, ch. 2013-246.