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Wisconsin Landlord Tenant Law

Wisconsin Landlord Tenant Law


Understanding Wisconsin Landlord-Tenant Law

Renting is always the first step toward independence as far as being on your own. It’s that step right before homeownership. So know that in Wisconsin it’s important to know what the law is.

Basics of Wisconsin Landlord-Tenant Law

1. Possession

2. Privacy

3. Prohibition

Those are three key points to understanding how Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws work. For starters, know that it plainly states in Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws that the tenant has the right to possess the property of the landlord upon completion of contracted lease.

This, however, doesn’t mean the tenant owns the property – just possesses it.

That means the tenant has a right to privacy, has a right to live quietly, without interference from the landlord or any other persons. Wisconsin landlord-tenant law even states that a tenant can charge a landlord with trespassing if the landlord steps onto the property without any reason or notice.

That being said, Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws state that a landlord does have a right to step onto the property for the purposes of maintaining property and repairs so long as the landlord provides suitable notice of arrival.

As for prohibition under WI landlord-tenant law? Wisconsin landlord-tenant law even states that a landlord must not divulge information about the tenant anywhere else or in any fashion. That falls in line with the Wisconsin landlord-tenant law of privacy.

In addition, under Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws, no landlord may contract with another tenant for a piece of property already possessed by a tenant, as that is a breach of contract.

Surprisingly, the WI landlord-tenant law is pretty tight on this issue: acceptance of rent. Pertaining to the issue of eviction due to non-payment of rent, the WI landlord-tenant law expressly specifies that even if the landlord accepted a late payment of rent after an eviction notice was sent out, the particular eviction still carries through in a court of law.

In other words, a tenant would do well to send in payments on time without fail. Even if the payment is a day late, whether or not the tenant gets that payment in doesn’t matter. The eviction may still go through by rule of the WI landlord-tenant law.

Additionally, on the shoulders of any landlord, any premises must be rendered fit for living, or else it’s a breach of contract for the tenant to constructively vacate. The legal term, “constructive eviction,” simply means that the tenant has the right to abandon the property without penalty and additional rent payments on the lease because the property was considered unfit and not properly taken care of by the landlord.

Another interesting piece of WI landlord-tenant law is the refusal to permit modifications on the property.

Standard knowledge would suggest that rental properties cannot be modified, because the tenant does not own the property. However, under Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws, modifications may be made if they provide compensation for some sort of disability – such as walkways, or rails, or other systems that would afford the tenant a full enjoyment of the property.

A landlord may also be required to allow a tenant the right to change back certain modifications of property that were there before the lease was contracted.