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Wisconsin Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord added an addendum to my current lease that says all previous six years addendums are still active. Is that

legal?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 7, 2020

Generally, any Addendum to a lease is enforceable if the Addendum is properly made part of the lease, properly executed by the Parties and does not contain a provision prohibited by existing law.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: How long after moving out can you get charged for cleaning?

I moved out end of June 2019. I got my security deposited back within the 21 days as expected. I just got an invoice dated April 2nd 2020 for cleaning that supposedly happened on June 30th 2019. It doesnt included a receipt or anything proving they brought in the cleaner either. Can they still... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 3, 2020

Arguably a landlord may return the security deposit in full and then seek contract damages. This makes some sense for the landlord because if the tenant challenges a security deposit violation then the landlord can be on the hook for double damages and tenant's attorney fees. In this case, if you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Wisconsin on
Q: Can I sue an honor for not stopping noise from his tenant?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 1, 2020

Generally a landlord is not liable for noise caused by a tenant unless the complaining party is another tenant in the same complex who is being denied quite enjoyment of their unit. Otherwise, noise complaints are properly directed to local law enforcement.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a landlord in wisconsin deny a tenant to break a lease?

I am looking to break my lease in Wisconsin but my landlord is saying that my only option is to sublease and that I cannot break my lease

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Mar 31, 2020

A tenant may choose to break the lease. The landlord is then under a duty to mitigate damages - essentially to try to re-rent the unit. The tenant may then be held liable for the months in which no rent was collected from the tenant or the new tenant, the difference between the new tenant's rent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: can landlord still make you leave once lease is up with viris going around
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Mar 17, 2020

Once your lease is up you are supposed to leave but if you do not, then you become a holdover tenant. Normally a landlord could seek to evict you but this is a very unusual moment in time. At present, it would be difficult or impossible for a landlord to evict a tenant. For instance, in Dane... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: In Wisconsin can a landlord ask for more security deposit after living there 10 plus years
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Mar 7, 2020

Assuming the term of your lease is ending, then the landlord may change the terms in the new lease including increasing the amount of the security deposit, increasing monthly rent or both.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Water sprinkler activated in bedroom 1/31/2020

The water sprinkler system in my apartment activated and the apartment building is stating I am being held responsible for the damages that was caused to my unit and the unit downstairs. I have not been at the unit due to it being inhabitable to live in. I just so happen to go over to the apartment... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Feb 26, 2020

If the sprinkler was activated due to a tenant's or a guest of tenant's negligence, then the tenant may be responsible for the damage to the property. If the sprinkler malfunctioned then the landlord may be solely responsible. Generally, these systems are inspected by local fire departments. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a landlord/realty company refuse to rent to someone because of a vacated judgement
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Feb 25, 2020

It is not discriminatory in Wisconsin for a landlord to refuse to rent to an applicant based on factors that are not protected under federal, state or municipal law, even if the applicant is a member of a protected class. If the judgement is a vacated criminal conviction then the landlord may be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a landlord charger you a months rentfor your duplex not being move in ready with it just being normal wear and tear?

I took pictures and video on the last day and nothing was damaged just normal wear and tear. I had to pay double security deposit. My landlord was showing my unit before I even moved out and now the landlord is saying the unit smelled of dogs and the carpet was dirty and was not move in ready so... Read more »

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

Wis. Admin Code § ATCP 134.06(3)(c) states that a landlord cannot withhold from a tenant's security deposit for normal "wear & tear." Unfortunately, "wear and tear" has never been defined. I note the deduction of $950 for not being "move in ready." That particular deduction may, depending on its... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: We gave our tenants a 30 day notice. Now they are refusing to pay this months rent. Can we give them a 5 day quit notice

So can we ask them to get out in five days?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Oct 14, 2019

Yes. If they are a month-to-month tenant, §704.17, Wis. Stats., allows you to give either a 5-day or 14-day notice for failure to rent. If they are under a lease for one year or less, §704.17(2), Wis. Stats., allows you to give them a 5-day notice to pay or vacate. No prohibition against... Read more »

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 Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can my current property management company hold me in a year lease when I don’t have an actual signed lease with them?

I signed a lease with company A that random February 2018 to January 31st 2019. The lease has an automatic renewal clause that stated it automatically renewed for 1 year but they would sent out a noticing giving provisions for lease renewal. Company A was sold to company B in November 2018 and a... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 29, 2019

When Company B acquired Company A your lease was also acquired and transferred to Company B whether you were told or not. so, regarding the issue of you breaking the lease and leaving early, you lose. Written contracts are written for a reason. And they are not easy to get out of.

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 »

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 »

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 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 »

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