OUR OPINION: Miami-Dade property appraiser right to move swiftly on ‘adverse possession’ cases

Miami Herald Editorial

As the foreclosure mess continues in South Florida, it’s overwhelming the courts while scammers and squatters are finding loopholes in the law to try to live the high life on the cheap.

Squatters like the ones recently found living in a Coral Gables mansion claiming they were renting from owners who don’t exist. Scammers who rent abandoned homes they do not own to unsuspecting renters while the true homeowners are in the foreclosure process.

Then there was the case of a pool home in foreclosure “rented” to a pimp and hookers just up the street from the Broward County property appraiser’s home.

The Florida Legislature can’t continue to ignore this mess.

At least Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera is moving swiftly to set the legal records straight in the county and end some of the abuses that his office can control: the so-called adverse possession claims.

Mr. Lopez-Cantera did the necessary due diligence to get rid of 44 percent of all adverse-possession claims that were pending since he took office in January. It wasn’t that difficult to do. He checked with the Tax Collector’s Office to see who had been paying the property taxes on those homes to determine the true owners.

 

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