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Wisconsin Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Was a guest at friends apartment for week. I was completely mauled by FLEAS

And limitations if any.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jul 6, 2020

A Wisconsin attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for a week. As a general matter, these can be difficult cases. Fleas are common and abundant in many places, and all sides could argue it was the other party that was the source of fleas. The cost of testing or investigation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Rent was 600 1st year 675 2nd year 700 3rd year per month and now they want 750 a month. Can they do that ?

Trying to figure out why rent just keeps going up and when will it stop

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 24, 2020

Generally a landlord has the right to raise the rent at the end of a lease term. There are some exceptions when the property is enrolled in a government subsidy program.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord was living in the home previously and left behind items 6 months later is refusing to move them out

She told us when she moved in she would move them and 6 months later it is still here. We rent the home and two car garage and she occupies space with her personal items. Can we move it out or charge her to move it? Or charge her for the space we can’t use.? Also she has not changed her mailing... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 29, 2020

Under Wisconsin law, unless the lease has an exception, a tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises. So unless your lease allows the storage of personal property by the landlord, then have the right to exclusive possession and you may take your landlord to court to enforce your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord passed away, how long do I have to stay here?

He did not leave a will, and only has one sister alive. Can she tell me I have to vacate the property now? Also, is she allowed to come into the house anytime she wants and take things out? As my landlord was also living in the home, how do I prevent her from taking my things?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 6, 2020

The property is now in the estate of your deceased landlord. Any heir receiving the property will take the property subject to any existing leases. If you are on a month to month lease then your lease may be terminated in accordance with law and proper notice. If your lease is for a longer term,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord has entered my unit multiple times without notice - what can I legally do?

I was unable to get a response from my property manager, so I filed a case with the state. They're willing to pay for damages, but only what they believe things to be worth.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 23, 2020

Generally, a landlord can enter at reasonable times to inspect the premises, make repairs, or show the premises to prospective tenants. The landlord usually must give 12 hours notice before entry, unless immediate entry is necessary to preserve or protect the premises, such as in case of a fire or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: May I pay my last rent with the security deposit? If not, what can happen if I do?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 17, 2020

Generally, the security deposit may not be used to pay the last month of rent. Doing so may trigger a late payment charge. Given the current pandemic, you might consider contacting the landlord and discussing this option. They may be more lenient and understanding at this time.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My tenant stopped paying rent. He has been there for almost 10 years. During the virus, what can I legally do?

He responded that he has been laid off since November, I asked if he will be paying. He is no longer responding.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 10, 2020

Governor Evers’ Emergency Order 15 created a temporary ban on evictions.

Evers’ Order went into effect on March 27, 2020 and continues for 60 days.

1) Landlords are prohibited from serving any notice terminating tenancy for failure to pay rent.

2) Landlords are...
Read more »

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... 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... 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... 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... 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 »

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