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Wisconsin Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My apartment manager left my apartment unlocked after letting pest control through, and I had money stolen.

The apartment manager scheduled for pest control to do a heat treatment for bed bugs in my apartment. And I was told I needed to be out of my apartment early that morning. I took with me my plants and medication with me so they would not be damaged. I was not told that there were other things that... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Nov 6, 2018

Arguably the apartment manager could be liable for theft of property caused by their failure to secure your apartment after gaining access. However, it is pretty difficult to prove the loss of cash. Perhaps you can reach an agreement with the manager for a rent credit.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: can my landlord force me to pay for sewer when only water was noted on the lease?

After living in this house for two years and finally moving, my landlord kept most of my security deposit for not paying the sewer bill that we never received nor knew we were supposed to be responsible for. It was not on our lease however we did agree to pay for water every three months. Are we... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 26, 2018

There are a couple of issues here. Responsibility for utilities needs to be spelled out in the lease. Depending on the locality, it may be common to refer to water and sewer as parts of the same whole - particularly if they are billed together on the same invoice by the municipality. If this is the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: can a landlord have you move before lease is over for no reason or any reason on the notice
Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Aug 21, 2018

Your question is not very clear. It depends what the notice says and what your lease says.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Renters debt now 10 years old. Am I liable to pay this debt back now? The collector/owner is requesting that I do.

I live in WI. I did not pay balance owed, because they never repaired what was broken when I put in a work request for it, on the condition of major appliances leaking or not operational. I moved from there in 2008 because of the non repaired appliances. I reapplied for this apt. complex in 2018... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Aug 21, 2018

Your landlord had 6 years from the date the debt accrued to file a lawsuit or be time barred from pursuing it. This is what the statute of limitations says. Your main options are: 1) refuse to pay the balance because the landlord didn't do anything to collect before the statute of limitations... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can my previous property management company hold me to the lease of a company they bought out?

I started renting with Company A and after 2 years they were bought out by Company B. Surprisingly, the buy out was on the month that our lease was up. Company A had told us that everything would be settled and we would be put on a month to month with Company B but would have to sign a lease with... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

In order to be able to give you an informed answer, I would need to see the lease. If your lease was assignable and if your lease included a 60 day termination provision for a month-to-month tenancy, then you are probably stuck with the 60 day notice period.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Wisconsin Lease termination question

On 1/31/18 my mother signed a lease for an apartment that begins on 4/1/18. She has since decided to move in to an assisted senior residence, though it is not out of medical necessity. Is there any way to terminate the lease prior to 4/1/18 without penalty? They are trying to say that she will be... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

Assuming that your mother is competent to sign the lease, she likely has an enforceable contract. However, the landlord has a duty to mitigate its damages, which means that the landlord is responsible to use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: I signed a lease but the copy my landlord gave me does not have my signature on it. Is this lease still valid?

I’m wondering if it is legally binding being that my copy doesn’t have my signature on it.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

If you signed a Lease and the landlord gave you a copy of the same document, you most likely have a valid lease.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My tenants want to leave. I agreed to let them out of the lease but they refuse to leave in a timely fashion. What now?

24 month lease, 17 months to go, they want their full security deposit back. I agreed because I want them out and I want to move back in.

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Apr 6, 2018

You have a coupe of options. One is to file an eviction action for unlawfully holding over. Another is to hold the tenants to the terms of the original lease agreement.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: How can we get out of our lease?!

We are trying to get out of our lease as we just put an offer in on a house. The landlord is refusing to work with us to get out even though we have a new tenant lined up. Also the lease states we can sublease and cant be unreasonably withheld. They are not giving us any reason why they won't let... Read more »

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Sep 21, 2017

If the lease states that you may sublease, then the landlord is breaching the lease. Such a breach may allow you to get out of contract altogether.

That being said, your question is really an economic one. If it is in your economic interest to break the lease you should. One consideration...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: If you are paying money in escrow for property taxes can the escrow holder use that money to pay mortgage money owed?
William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Jul 31, 2017

Yes: as long as all of the parties to the agreement agree.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: When to file a civil judgement against someone who confessed property damage to police and is waiting prosecution?

Before vacating, our tenant broke off the inside copper pipe for our central air unit, destroying the unit. We filed a police report and he confessed to them and is waiting to be assigned to a DA. Is it better to file a civil suit now and try to get his wages garnished, or wait until after he's... Read more »

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Jul 28, 2017

An order for restitution in a criminal case is an order requiring the criminal defendant to pay restitution to a victim. Usually, if the criminal defendant fails to pay the order is converted to a civil judgment. Filing a small claims action will likely result in a default judgment (because the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: my LLC recently broke a lease with my landlord and we are being sued for unpaid rent and damages.

We didn't pay any rent because of disputes on a buildout that was done by the landlord prior to us moving into the space. we found out that the work had been done without the proper permits being obtained and no inspections being done. We were also not provided an occupancy permit upon moving into... Read more »

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on May 11, 2017

A lease is a contract. In general, non-performance entitles the other party to rescind the contract. Doing build-out work without permits is worse than non-performance, it is illegal. A party that acts unlawfully cannot come into court and ask for a legal remedy. You should consider counter-suing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: I signed a lease four days ago. The rental company didnt sign the lease. Can I get out of the lease?

I went to the office and signed the lease on monday. Things in my life changed. I want to get out of this lease. They havent signed it. I dont have keys. Im supposed to meet them and move in on Monday.

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Apr 24, 2017

Yes. You should advise the landlord in writing that you are withdrawing your acceptance.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: How many days eviction notice do my roommates need to give me if I'm not on the lease?

I live in an apartment with 3 othes, 2 of which are on the lease. I am not on the lease either. I was not able to pay rent on time and now they are trying to kick me out. They are trying to give me a 3 day notice to get out. I moved in to here in January and have been paying rent and utilities as... Read more »

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Apr 24, 2017

You are a tenant at-will. That means that your tenancy may be terminated upon proper notice. 3 days is not proper notice. It also sounds like you are a sub-leaser. Most lease agreements prohibit sub-leasing without notice to the landlord. So the other tenants would have a difficult time suing you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: We had a verbal rent to own agreement, now our landlord tells us we have 30 days to vacate. Is this legal?

We have nothing written, verbal only. He does not claim the income.

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Apr 24, 2017

Probably. The general rule is that contracts concerning real estate must be in writing to be enforceable in court. More information needs to be provided, if you want to try to take advantage of one of stringent exceptions.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a landlord require we pay him an extra months rent for not giving him a 60 day notice?

We just recently told our landlord we would not be resigning with him another year. Our lease was one year: begging June 1, 2016 and ending May 31, 2017. I read through our lease and nothing is stated about a 60 day notice before vacating. However our landlord told us that because we had not given... Read more »

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Apr 24, 2017

The short answer is no. You should be concerned about your security deposit. A landlord that acts like that may try to unjustly keep the security deposit.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My neighbors rent a duplex and sublet one side can they evict their subletters?

The subletters and the renters had a verbal agreement on rent and agreed to payments and to pay everything in full once taxes were back and 3 days later received and eviction notice. Just wondering if that was legal for them to do or if the owner had to do the eviction. Also is a verbal agreement... Read more »

Thomas Murphy
Thomas Murphy answered on Feb 29, 2016

As to your first question, more information is necessary to give you a conclusive answer. The sublessor may have had written authorization to commence the eviction on the owner's behalf, which may or may not apply in this case. Regarding your second question, periodic tenancies for less than a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a tenant charge me more in rent because Ive lived in the apartment longer versus someone signing a new lease?

My tenant told me my rent is going up next year to 635 because rent is going up all over the city yet online they have my same studio in the same building listed as 575 and they won't let me sign that lease because I'm currently living in the apartment.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 22, 2015

Do you mean the landlord, rather than the "tenant"? You do understand that a tenant is a person who is paying rent to a landlord for the right to live in the premises, right?

Unless there is some sort of rent control law in your locality, and assuming you don't have a current lease, the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Which box do I check?

I'm filing an appeal for an eviction that was granted in Wisconsin, the form asks if the case has or doesn't have preference in reference to statute, but doesn't specify what statute. What does this mean and which box do I check?

Robert Jason De Groot
Robert Jason De Groot answered on Oct 21, 2015

Perhaps you can call the clerk and ask. That is the quickest thing I can think of.

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