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Wisconsin Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Is an email a binding contract or commitment to purchase in terms of real estate?

We wanted to purchase a small portion of an empty lot next to our house. The contractor agreed on a price with us and then nothing happened for two years. The contractor did a survey recently - not based on the portion of land we wanted to purchase. We resurrected the idea of purchasing again... Read more »

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

Agreements to purchase real property in Wisconsin must conform to the requirements of Section 706.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes. That section sets forth the formal requisites for a sales contract or conveyance. Section 706.02(d) requires that the agreement be signed by all parties so email messages... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Contracts for Wisconsin on
Q: My landlord wants me to pay for professional carpet cleaning, despite not clarified in lease agreement. What do I do?

My landlord just sent us a letter saying that we need to have a carpets professionally cleaned before moving out. However, the lease does not mention the house needing to be professionally cleaned whatsoever. The most it mentions regarding carpets is that it should be "cleaned". And before I signed... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Apr 22, 2019

Both are true. Landlords cannot deduct this cost from security deposits and may seek to recover the costs through billing or an action to recover the cost.

Under Wis Admin Code ATCP 134.06(3)(c) landlords cannot withhold from a tenant's security deposit for normal "wear & tear" even if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My brother and I inherited land when our mother passed away my aunt's own a portion of said land

I asked my aunts to buy us out or were selling our portion there making things difficult although we inherited it legally , 1 aunt is saying it's private property and that we can't sell our portion .

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 22, 2019

You will need to look at the deed to determine how you took title to the land to figure out what to do next. I recommend you pay a real estate lawyer to examine it for you and then lay out your best options in this situation. If you and your brother own an interest in the property, and you hold... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: My lease has 2 different terms which is correct?

The front page of the lease says "for the year of Jan. 1st 2018 to December 31st 2018" in the provisions on the 2nd or 3rd page it says "both the tenant and landlord acknowledge this lease is for a minimum of one year" the lease was signed in September 2018, does that mean our lease expires in... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Feb 11, 2019

I have not seen your lease, but it sounds to me like someone forgot to change the dates on the front of the lease. It seems they intended the lease to run for at least one year from the date you signed it, but if that was their intent the dates are unclear. If it had said "This lease is for one... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Signed 1 year lease. 3 months later property is sold to new landowner who now wants a new lease signed. Is this legal?

The new lease has many things changed.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Feb 6, 2019

Generally, the lease from the prior owner is assigned to the new owner. The old lease remains in force through its original term. The new landlord may seek to obtain a new lease to replace the old lease but you do not have to agree to the terms. Of course, the landlord might choose to not renew... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Are there transfer fees involved when you quit claim property from an LLC to the sole owner of the LLC?

I received a letter from the state asking why a transfer fee exemption was used. I quit claimed the property myself and am not sure what they are referring to?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Jan 22, 2019

Generally transfers between an LLC and the sole member of the LLC are exempt from the Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Fee. Section 77.25 (15s) of the Wisconsin Statutes governs and states that the transfer fee does not apply to a conveyance ....... Between a limited liability company and one or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: What can be included in a house purchase offer to be sure the property will be acquired but delays the closing?

Our daughter found a perfect house and wants to be sure it does not slip away but would prefer to delay closing for several months. Can a contingency be put into the contract along with a statement that she requests the opportunity to remove the contingency if another offer without a contingency... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Dec 28, 2018

Yes, she could include an escalation clause if another offer comes in with a closing date that is sooner, meaning her offer would increase in purchase price, or her Offer to Purchase could offer to move her closing date up if another offer comes in with an earlier closing date before your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: When an easement created in 1970 expire without re-record?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Dec 7, 2018

Assuming the easement was originally recorded, the answer depends on the easement. If the easement "run with the land," then the easement binds the heirs and successors of the individual parcel owners. In other words, the easement continues to be binding without re-recording. If, on the other hand,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can I have parking space in ingress/egress area where the potential parking space not obstruct ingress/egress route?

I am a commercial property owner and we have ingress/egress easement with neighbor to let them use an area within our property for ingress/egress. There are unofficial parking spaces in that area which have no impact on their ingress/egress. The city wouldn't allow me to use the parking space as... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Dec 7, 2018

The answer will depend on the language of the easement. Generally, easements for ingress/egress prohibit either party from blocking any portion of the easement area,regardless of whether or not the parking blocks actual access. The underlying argument is that neither the dominant or subservient... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Is there a statute of limitations on when you can sue someone? Its been over 10 years since the judgement.

I was evicted over 10 years ago and now the management company is trying to sue me for $5500. Can they still do this? The judgement was entered on Feb. 28 2008.

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Dec 3, 2018

Statutes of limitations vary based on the type of claim. In Wisconsin, there is a 6 year statute of limitations on commencing contract actions. If the creditor took a judgment, then that judgment becomes a lien on the property of the defendant for a period of 10 years. Even though the lien on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Deed stolen to deceased relative home. Hear they are putting their name on deed. What are our options?

Person has deed and abstract to house- without permission. They are not related or family. They are telling people they are getting the house. Children living did not okay this. Home owner has been deceased for 8 years. What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Dec 2, 2018

The value in a deed is in the recording of the deed - not the possession of the deed. You just can't write your name on a recorded deed and take the property. Assuming the deed was properly recorded, the only way to change title is to record a new deed. If any subsequent deed is fraudulent it could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: What is the fee for using a real estate lawyer for closing on a house with no realtor?
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Nov 30, 2018

The fee will vary based on the individual attorney, their experience, the scope of the representation and the county in which the attorney is located.

In Dane County - flat fee attorneys will assist from start to finish for fees ranging from as low as $500 to $900. In most cases you get...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a person legally ask for money back that they gave, as a gift, to another. No contracts or promisary notes signed.

Roommate gives partner, not related or married, money via checks, that partner uses, along with partners money, to build a house. Checks were made out to partner and no promissory note or repayment plan agreed to.

Roommate moves out of the house they built but now wants partner to give back... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Nov 16, 2018

It is not uncommon for people to argue about whether money was given in exchange for a promise to repay or whether the money was given as a gift. A promise to repay does not have to be in writing so this becomes an issue of fact to determine at trial (assuming a contesting proceeding ensues).... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I am buying a house built with 2 finished bedrooms. A 3rd room was finished by the owner w/o getting permits. Issue?

Is this an issue for the seller and might it be a future issue if/when I decide to sell?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Nov 12, 2018

The Real Estate Condition Report asks whether the Seller made improvements without required permits during that Seller's period of ownership. If the Seller did not disclose this to the Buyer then the Buyer may choose to terminate the Offer prior to closing. If the Buyer discovers this after closing... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I am closing on a house purchase Oct 31, I discovered on Friday Oct 26th that the water well is contaminated.

This after the realtor stated all was good with the well. The seller is pursuing their right to cure and I am told I must close on Oct 31st no matter what. I don't feel this is right. What are my options

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Oct 28, 2018

If your contract that you signed was appropriately modified to protect you from having to close with such an issue, then you should not close until everything is properly rectified.

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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 Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I need to remove my girlfriend from my home I own she is not on any lease or rental agreement

We have lived together for 4 years and the real stop shop has gotten very stressful and toxic

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 22, 2018

In short you may have to treat your girlfriend as what we call "a tenant at will." This effectively puts you in the position of the "Landlord" seeking to end your "agreement" with you girlfriend. The Tenant Resource Center has a great post on this subject and rather than running through the points... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I closed on 9/14/18, carpets in finished basement were soaked and house has foundation leaks. They didn't disclose this.

Standard disclosure, C12 said no damage to foundation, never mentioned any wet carpets to us. 3 weeks prior there were huge storms the day after inspection was done. What rights do I have. I have 2 quotes from mason pros of $5,000 and $7,500. They need to rip out the finished basement to do the... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 19, 2018

This has been a tough year for water damage. If you can prove that the Seller knew about prior problems then you have a strong claim. Most of these claims should be brought within the first two years to preserve your various statutes of limitations. I recommend you contact Atty John Laubmeier in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Am I liable for the repair that I didn't know after close?

I sold a condo a month ago. We remodeled the condo. It is disclosed in the Disclosure. Buyer contacted us and stated that the dryer's vent doesn't vent and cause retention of moisture that cause ceiling damage. When the contractor installed the dryer, the building property manager was in our condo.... Read more »

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 19, 2018

I'm surprised that the buyer's inspector did not note that the dryer was not vented. If the dryer is not vented then it should be a condenser dryer.

The issue here is whether or not you had knowledge of a condition affecting the property and failed to disclose that condition in your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My security deposit was witheld for carpet damages. The damages were not significant enough to replace the entire carpet

Doed the landlord have the right to charge for the replacement of the entire carpet?

Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller answered on Oct 19, 2018

You raise the relevant issue in the form of your question wherein you state that "the damages were not significant enough to replace the entire carpet." If that statement is true, then the landlord may not be entitled to withhold security deposits for this purpose. Security deposits may not be... Read more »

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