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State of Wisconsin Tenant/Landlord Statutes Updated!
All Tenants and landlords should be aware of changes in the landlord/tenant state stautes that were passed by the state senate and signed into law by Govenor Scott Walker in mid March.
The new state statues went into effect on March 31st, 2012. Wisconsin state rental forms have been revised and are available to our members.
Here are some parts of the changed laws that all tenants and landlords need to be aware of:
1. Personal items left behind by the tenant- The amended laws allow for immeadiate disposal of property abandoned by the tenants. In the past the landlord had to store the tenants items for 30 days and send a letter to the tenants informing them of that. Under the revised statute, items left behind may be disposed of immeadiately and without notice unless a written agreement is entered into by the parties. There are a few exceptions to this however; medications and medical equipment must be kept for 7 days before disposal. Titled vehicles and mobile homes must not be disposed of until after written notice is sent to the former resident. This new language must now be written into the lease or rental agreement or the landlord will have to follow the old rules.
2. Check In, Check Out Form/Report- The landlord will now be required to provide a information check in sheet to each tenant with an itemized description of the premises including any defects or known code violations. In the past, the tenant was given a blank form and wrote down defects that they saw and would then give that form back to the landlord. Now the form is to be prefilled by the property owner and the tenant agrees by signing the form. Again, this will require new forms but until the state has new forms available landlords will have to write or type in the information on the old style forms.
3. Return of security deposit.- Under the revised provision, if a tenant vacates before the end of his lease the landlord will not have to return the tenant’s security deposit or send the teanant a security deposit itemization letter until 21 days after the lease ends or 21 days after the unit is re-rented. Under the old law per ATCP 134.06(2) the landlord had to return the security deposit or security deposit itemization letter within 21 days of the tenant “surrendering” the rental unit. Again the Wisconsin rental forms will be rewritten for this.
4. Acceptance of past due rent. - Under the new law, if the landlord has started eviction proceedings against the tenant, the landlord can accept past due rent from the tenant. The court can't dismiss the eviction because the landlord accepted past due rent from the tenant.
5. The Crime Free Lease Addendum or any language similar to it can not be used in your rental agreement or lease.
Obviously, I have not gone into great detail here because it would take up too much space but it is important to get an understanding of these new statutes. I have placed a few links below that may help to explain these in greater depth. Please familiarize yourself with them. They are important for landlords and tenants alike.
2011 WISCONSIN ACT 143
LANDLORD OMNIBUS BILL-TRISTAN PETTIT
** To our members.... All rental forms are available for purchase at our monthly meetings.