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

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 .