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Questions Answered by Jason Anthony Greller
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a late fee be assessed on rent prior to 5 day grace period in Wisconsin?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Sep 17, 2019

There is no statute, regulation or Wisconsin case that prevents a landlord from charging a tenant a late fee for failure to pay rent on time.

A landlord can only charge a late fee if it is specifically authorized in the rental agreement. See Wis Admin Code § ATCP 134.09(8).

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Is it legal for my landlord to be forcing us to pay two different utility companies? We were only told about electric

When my fiancé and I moved into our apartment in October we were told we only had to pay electric. Fast forward to December and we get another utility company bill demanding we pay for sewer, gas (I have a boiler in my basement), and water. We were never told about it and now we are getting... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Aug 28, 2019

Landlord-tenant relations in Wisconsin are regulated by Wis. Stat. ch. 704, and Wis. Adm. Code ch. ATCP 134.

Utility charges (ATCP 134.04(3))

Landlords often require tenants to pay the utility

charges separate from the rent. Before deciding

to rent a specific unit,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Roommate and Electric Bill Question

If a roommate is still on the lease and moves out a month early, are they still required to pay for their portion of the electric bill even if they were not living there for that month? The roommate claims that because they were not physically living in the house for that month and not using... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Aug 10, 2019

The departing tenant seems to equate use of the premises and utilities with responsibility for payment but a party's liability is based on their contractual agreement to be bound by the terms of the lease regardless of use. If the lease requires the tenants to be responsible for utilities then all... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My brother died on July 5th.His landlord started throwing his personal property outside Aug 3rd.neighbor helped move it!

She allowed the neighbor to help and he moved in! There is still his property inside the apartment! She wont let us go in!

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Aug 7, 2019

Landlord is jumping the gun in terminating the tenancy. See Section 704.165. Disposing of property depends on the lease agreement and whether the landlord gave notice to tenant at the signing of the lease of the intent to dispose of abandoned property. Generally the Landlord should grant next of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a WI Realtor force a seller to purchase title ins for new owner? Why can’t new owner purchase their own title ins?

Are the Realtor and/or WI Title Comp supposed to inform seller with details of all closing costs? In my case, my specific closing cost questions weren’t answered.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jul 10, 2019

Your obligation to provide title insurance to the Buyer comes from a standard provision in the Offer to Purchase requiring Seller to provide evidence of title to the Buyer in the form of a title insurance policy. If you were working with a listing agent I agree that it seems reasonable to expect... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can I make the village replace my driveway from years of their snowplows turning around on it.

Even after asking them to stop they still kept turning around on my driveway. I waited as long as I could, and now it's destroyed. I want to know my rights before I go and meet with them.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jul 9, 2019

You may be able to seek a remedy if you are able to prove that the damage was caused almost entirely from the plows and no other use or condition. That seems like a pretty high burden of proof.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: A family member living as a guest proclaimed she was going to stay a until invicted.

(evicted sorry didn't get much sleep to this drama) , but then she moved out all her stuff but a bed later that day and returned her key. Is she legally moved out? She never paid rent, no lease agreement or anything. Can I change the locks? she has invited numerous suspicious people into the home,... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jul 8, 2019

Sounds like the family member was a tenant at will - which is a tenancy that may be created by a party in possession of the property even if they don't pay rent. But it also sounds like the tenant terminated the tenancy when she moved out the property, turned in the keys and surrendered possession... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord passed on the 3rd and her daughter want the house told us we have thirty days to move out I need advice
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jul 7, 2019

If you have a written lease for a term you may certainly stay through the term of the lease. If you are on a month to month lease, then the landlord may terminate the tenancy with 28 days of notice before the start of the next rental period. So if your month to month tenancy starts on the first of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord wants to charge me late fee plus $5 a day for everyday it's passed the 5th. Is the $5 a day legal?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 12, 2019

A landlord can only charge a late fee if it is specifically authorized in the rental agreement. There is no statute, regulation or Wisconsin case that addresses the maximum amount that can be charged for a late fee. Some courts disfavor the use of a daily late fee and have found them to be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Home listing -The owner is deceased and the agent says the “kids told him they have right to sell” How do we verify.
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 11, 2019

Eventually the title company will insure that the sellers have the right to sell. In the interim, you could ask if they have an order from the probate court making one of the children the personal representative of the estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord claims it is not her responsibility to ensure the apartment can maintain a comfortable living temperature.

Wis. Stat. ch. 704 and ch. 799, Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 134 states that the apartment should be able to maintain a temperature of at least 67 degrees. My landlord says that it is my responsibility to keep the temperature at that level. I believe that it is her responsibility.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 8, 2019

Yes. A landlord on a residential lease in Wisconsin has a duty to ensure that the premises has adequate heating. If the system needs to be repaired it is also the landlord's duty maintain and repair the system.

See:

704.07  Repairs; untenantability.

(1)  Application of...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I have an easement driveway to my property, who is responsible for trimming tree branches?

The trees aren't mine or on my property. Tree branches are hanging over the driveway and brushing on vehicles entering & leaving my property.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 8, 2019

Generally, easements indicate responsibility for maintaining the road. Arguably, tree trimming should be a part of maintaining the road an access. Check the easement language to see how maintenance responsibilities are handled.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If a city gets a judgement on a Raise or Repair order,is it legal if they did not include the lein holder?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 7, 2019

Generally, a municipality does not have to name a lien holder of a property when seeking a judgement relating to delinquencies unless they are seeking a foreclosure based on a failure to pay real estate taxes.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Which WI statute protects home buyers from undisclosed issues in the condition report of their home?

The seller of my home knew of diseased trees (received a bid for multiple thousands of $$) and did not disclose them on the condition report. I'd like to read the exact real estate legislation that I'm protected by.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 3, 2019

Take a look at Section 100.18

100.18  Fraudulent representations.

(1) No person, firm, corporation or association, or agent or employee thereof, with intent to sell, distribute, increase the consumption of or in any wise dispose of any real estate, merchandise, securities,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: How do I find the text from peterson v. feyeresien? It was printed in Wisconsin Reports 203 1930.
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 31, 2019

I'm pretty sure that cases this old are not freely available online. You can access them with a subscription. Alternatively, you can visit your County Courthouse which usually maintains a library. If in Madison, you can visit the State Law Library or the University of Wisconsin Law School. In the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: I want to serve a Wisconsin 28 day notice to terminate tenancy. How is a 28 day notice counted?

I want to serve the 28 day notice for June. How are the days counted? Do I have to serve on June 2nd to allow at least 28 days before the end of the rental period? If served on June 2nd, is it true that the 28th day (June 30) cannot fall on Sunday?

I am the landlord. Tenancy is... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 31, 2019

Yes, you would have to serve the notice on June 2nd. There is no restriction on the 28th day falling on a Sunday.

Section 704.19 Wis Stats outlines the rules relating to 28 day notices terminating periodic tenancies.

Please make note of the provisions of Section 704.19 (7) which...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: The Seller is trying to change contract on purchase of home when a contract was signed and offer accepted?

I signed contract and offer was accepted for 1,000 over asking price plus 4,000 closing costs. initial closing was scheduled for june 28. Now they changed the closing to july, 20th without my approval. I paid for inspection and inspector says windows need to be replaced for the loan to go through.... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 30, 2019

It is impossible to answer a contract question without reading the contract. That being said, generally neither party may unilaterally change the terms of the offer. In the present case, if your lender will not fund the closing without the window replacement, then the terms of the contract may... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: We recently were going to purchase my recently passed dads home. We had it all set and 5 days before closing my

Husband changed his mind. Now the estates lawyer is coming after my husband for breach of contract. Can he do that ? Or force us to purchase

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 24, 2019

Assuming that you have no contingencies remaining in the offer that you could exercise in good faith, then a failure to close on the part of the Buyer is a default. Assuming this is a standard WI WB-11 Offer to Purchase form, if Buyer defaults, Seller may:

(1) sue for specific performance...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you require a tenant to leave premesis for a showing when the rented home is for sale? They are always 24hr notice.

We are selling our SFH that is currently under lease. The contract has provisions that allow us to sell at any time and give tenants a 60 day notice to vacate upon entering purchase agreement.

We are having difficulties with our tenant demanding she stay at the home durng showings;... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 23, 2019

The answer to any lease question often depends on the terms of the specific lease. Generally, tenants are entitled to possession of the premises and the right to "quiet enjoyment" of the premises. Generally, landlords retain the right to enter the premises upon notice and that may include the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Any legal options when a house is sold to another for much less than I offered? This was four months apart.

I made an offer on a foreclosed home in November of 2018. The bank counter offered, then I counter offered. The bank refused that offer and pulled the home off the market. I recently discovered that the home was sold in February 2019 for $20,000 less than my initial offer. I am quite upset by this... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 13, 2019

Generally you would not have a claim against the bank unless you believe that the bank violated federal fair housing law by discriminating against you for a prohibited reason such as your age, race, religion or family status.

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