STATE OF THE STATE

A joint session of the Wisconsin Legislature applauds Gov. Scott Walker at his 2018 State of the State address.

PHOTO BY MICHELLE STOCKER

2011 Wis. Act 108, went into effect Dec. 21, 2011

  • Local governments can’t prohibit landlords from using information about a tenant or prospective tenant’s monthly household income, occupation, rental history, credit information, arrest and conviction records or Social Security number.

  • Madison lost protections that barred landlords from using a non-tenancy related criminal conviction or a lack of Social Security number to reject an applicant.

  • Local governments can’t restrict the amount of money a landlord can ask for in a security deposit.

  • In Madison, this meant landlords are no longer limited to a one month’s rent security deposit, and they they no longer needed photo proof of damages to deduct from a security deposit or provide a receipt for items deducted.  

  • In Madison, landlords no longer have to wait for a quarter of the lease to be over before asking the tenant to renew the lease for the following year

2011 Wis. Act 143, went into effect Mar. 31, 2012

  • Local governments can’t prohibit evictions in winter months

  • Payment of past due rent will not stop an eviction action

  • Limited the power of the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection, a main tenant advocate

  • Landlord can dispose of property left behind by a tenant, unless a written agreement dictates otherwise

2013 Wis. Act 76, went into effect Mar. 1, 2014

  • Local governments can’t require that landlords give tenants information that’s not required by state or federal law

  • In Madison, that meant landlords no longer have to give out voter registration information, tell applicants why they were denied or not renewed, the “Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities” brochure and a phone number for the landlord.

  • The initial hearing for an eviction must be scheduled between 5 to 30 days after the landlord files for eviction. That was shortened from the previous requirement of 5 to 30 days.

  • After an eviction, the landlord can notify the sheriff that they will oversee any property left behind, and can throw out the tenant’s belongings (with an exception for prescription medication)

  • Unauthorized vehicles can be towed off private property without a traffic ticket if the property is “property posted”

  • In Madison, late fees are no longer restricted to 5 percent of rent.

  • In Madison, landlords now only have to give 12 hours notice, rather than 24, for repairs and inspections.

2015 Wis. Act. 176, went into effect Mar. 2, 2016

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  • Landlords can terminate a lease for certain criminal activity or “drug-related criminal activity.” An arrest or conviction is not necessary, but if a tenant contests the eviction, the landlord must provide proof

Proposed bill AB771/SB639 (subject to change)

  • Limits the ability for cities to perform regular inspections, unless the area is considered “blighted,” which means inspections in other areas of the city would have to be instigated by a complaint.   

  • Puts a 10-day limit on the amount of time a court can delay an eviction decision.

  • When doing repairs, landlords can charge for their time shopping for materials or supervising the work .