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Wisconsin Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I'm buying a duplex that has a month to month. When am I able to communicate with the current tenant?

I'm looking to provide 28 day notice so I can move in and owner occupy.

Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams answered on Aug 27, 2020

Nothing keeps you from communicating with them whenever you want. You can't give them notice until you actually own the place though.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a real estate lawyer help me with rent to own property

The process

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 25, 2020

If you are buying a property on a land contract, I recommend you have it prepared or reviewed by your own attorney before entering into such a contract. Often these types of contracts can favor the drafter (the person preparing the contract) so if you are considering entering such a contract it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: What is the best way to set things up for if I pass before he does?

I purchased a home before I meet my husband. The deed and loan are in my name only. I would like for things to just go to him so he has a home with our children.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 20, 2020

There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Depending on how the title to the deed reads now, you could pass this to your husband via deed, or via your Will or Trust at death. Doing it in your estate plan (Will or Trust) may make sense, because you still have a mortgage on the property, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If a property behind me can be acessed by public waterway, do I still have to give them an easement through my property?

The property next to me is bordered on the east side by a public waterway on county land. They currently access their land from the west through a gravel lane on my property. The old easement recently expired and I was wondering if I have to renew it.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 13, 2020

In general, if an easement has expired, there is nothing requiring you to grant a new easement to an adjoining landowner. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that Wis. Stat. 893.33(6) requires property owners to re-record their easement within 40 years of the original grant, or risk losing the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Best way to buy a house with a child

My son was planning on buying a house but was furloughed due to COVID 19 and isn’t able to get financing. My husband and I are going to purchase the house but our son will make all of the payments. We will eventually transfer the house to him. What is the best way to purchase at this time?... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 13, 2020

If you plan to purchase the home and put your name on the mortgage, I would strongly advise you to purchase the home in your own name. It is not a good idea to purchase property and title it in another person's name, as you will be held responsible for the mortgage if the other person quits... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: We put an offer on a home and heard back that they had accepted another offer. Our realtor could not get many details

and the sellers realtor would not respond nor give us a chance to counter offer. This was after the houses listing price was dropped by $25,000. We came to find out that the realtor bought the house for $2,000 more than our offer. Is this legal?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jul 5, 2020

If it was your realtor who bought the house that would be a violation of their agency duty to you.

If it was the listing agent who bought the property, then that agent may have violated their duty to the seller by not exploring whether you would have been willing to pay more for the property.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Rent Back after home closing

I'm thinking of putting an offer on a home, but the seller has notified my agent that they will need to rent back the property after closing for 30 days. Is there a standard rent-back form for this situation in Wisconsin or does it require the signing of a short term lease?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 21, 2020

The Wisconsin Realtors Association has a standard form - Addendum O (Occupancy Agreement) . There are a number of variables on that form that affect your rights and risks. You should ask your agent to discuss that form with you. Please note that the form does not address insurance issues -... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Tenants in common transfer without a will

The deed to our family cabin In Wisconsin lists my mom and her deceased brother as tenants in common. He passed away 9 years ago without a will. How do we get his name off the deed?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 15, 2020

You will need to file a Termination of Decedent's Interest with the Register of Deeds for the county in which the property is located.

You may access the form and instructions at the WI Register of Deeds Association website on their forms page which is located at...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My cousin and I co own our deceased grandparents property. How do I make sure my half goes to my daughter when I die?

We both want our children, not the surviving owner, to inherit our shares. We both (my cousin and I) live in the state of WI and the property is in MI. Does the inheritence info go into our deed or each of our wills?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 10, 2020

The answer to this question will depend on how title to the real estate is held with your cousin. If you hold it as joint tenants, then the survivor of either of you would inherit the deceased person's interest. However, I think it is more likely that you hold it as tenants in common because... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a condo board president (unpaid position) also be the condo association office/property manager (paid position)?

My condo board president is also the office manager. Because of this, she really does not have anyone to hold her accountable. She makes up rules that are not in the condo docs, only enforces certain rules/regulations in the condo docs and then breaks other ones herself. She has harassed me to the... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 5, 2020

I am sorry to hear about this difficult situation. The answer to this question will likely depend on what the Condo Board Bylaws say. I would obtain a copy of the Bylaws from a member of the Condo Board and then review them carefully to see what they say about conflicts of interest and whether the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: can sellers of home sign deal for land with D.O.T after accepted offer?

We were aware of the road expansion. Nothing was stated in the condition report. Prior to accepting the counter offer, we were aware no checks have been issued. We were the primary offer for the home and the 1 acre property. 4/22 we went into contract. 5/8 the signed with the Department of... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jun 2, 2020

If a Seller has a primary accepted Offer then, generally, they cannot accept another Primary Offer. Generally they could accept a Secondary Offer that is "secondary" to the accepted Primary Offer. There are provisions within the standard offer to purchase forms for Wisconsin that allow... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: my neighbor has put up a mailbox on my property,can i remove it.

the mail box has been in place for over a year, no livable accommodations on property,he does not live there, it is in the ROW of road, I am wrong by describing him as a neighbor, he is an estranged brother. His daughter who lives in another state owns adjacent property he does not live nearby and... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on May 20, 2020

Generally the law does not afford an aggrieved party the right to self help. In other words, you may not remove the mailbox. You may go to court and ask for an order requiring the neighbor to remove the box.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Is there someone in Baraboo that could review purchase documents for a house we are closing on 05/15? I am wondering if

we should have an attorney go over the paperwork and possibly accompany us to our closing? This is the first home we are buying and we do have a realtor, we are just not sure how all of this work.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 12, 2020

Justia has an attorney listing service. I would do a search for attorneys in the Baraboo area who practice real estate law and contact some of them to see if they could review your documents before the closing. There are also other attorney listing services you could use to locate attorneys in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: How does a land contract work. The seller still has a mortgage on the house. What will happen if the seller dies. .

My father-in-law would like to sell my husband and I his house on a land contract. My father-in-law still has a mortgage on the house currently but he was diagnosed with Cancer and put on Hospice. Can we use a land contract to obtain the house.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 27, 2020

You should examine the mortgage documents carefully. Usually, the bank will have a lien on the house, as a secured interest on the property, superior to all of the other lien holders. Therefore, if your father-in-law should die, his heirs (the people he names in his Will if he has one, or the heirs... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Commercial Real Estate LLC

I’m wondering if there is anything I can do? I had 36% ownership in a building. The other partners borrowed $1.5M against a paid building without notifying me. I never signed anything on the loan & found out 5 months later from St. MN. The bank loaned the money without an appraisal –... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 14, 2020

I'd recommend that you post this question to the Business Lawyer section as this matter appears to concern your rights and obligations as a member of the LLC as opposed to real property rights. The attorneys in that section may be better suited to assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: my brothers inherited our family farm the property was never split,my brother left his half to me how do i claim it
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 8, 2020

The answer to this question depends on whether your brother left you his half through his Will, or through a trust, or by deed. Depending on which instrument he used, you will need to examine the instrument itself. If he left it through a Will, it is likely a probate action will be needed in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Wisconsin on
Q: Rental next door-Constant noise. can I sue the landlord
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 quiet enjoyment of their unit. Otherwise, noise complaints are properly directed to local law enforcement.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I signed an apartment lease in WI, 4 days later I called the leasing office to cancel it. Do I have to pay the rent?

I never moved in, I called to cancel it before my moving date. But they said I'm liable to pay the rent until someone re-rents. But they rented two same units, same price, and same style, not mine. What happens if I stop making payments?

Thanks in advance

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Mar 30, 2020

Assuming that the lease is enforceable, which may only be determined after review by a qualified attorney, you may be liable for the full contract amount. The landlord is under a duty to mitigate damages and to work to re-rent the unit. That duty does not necessarily mean that the landlord has to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: In WI my husband and I were planning to purchase a condo. With COVID 19 we want to back out. Can we get earnest money
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Mar 29, 2020

Your rights and obligations under the contract can only be determined after reviewing the entire offer. Generally, a buyer may only use a valid contingency to terminate an offer. Simply deciding that the market conditions are no longer ideal to move forward is not typically a valid reason to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My lease expires Feb 28th this year I gave my notice Feb 11th that I would be out march 25th but they are saying I will

Be responsible for April's rent I was paying 570 and they upped it to 645 this month so I thought that being month to month you only had to give 30 days notice ?plz help me

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Mar 5, 2020

For a month to month lease you have to give 28 days notice before the beginning of the next rental period unless the lease has a different notice provision. See Section 704.19 below:

704.19  Notice necessary to terminate periodic tenancies and tenancies at will.

704.19(1)(1) ...
Read more »

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