New Law Offers Landlords More Protections

Daily Newspaper shutterstock_1272343108Lawmakers in Wisconsin are moving forward a new measure adding more protections for the state’s landlords.

Key terms in the current bill include:

Provisions making it easier and less costly for landlords to dispose of personal property left behind when I tenant abandons a property.

An exemption from civil liability for providing a reference about the rental performance of an applicant for tenancy if the applicant or a prospective landlord of the applicant requests the landlord to provide the reference.

An infestation of insects or other pests may constitute damage to the premises and that, if the premises are damaged by the acts or inaction of  the tenant, the landlord may elect to allow the tenant to remediate or repair the damage
or may elect to remediate or repair the damage himself or herself, in which case the tenant must reimburse the landlord.

A change in the criterion for reporting housing defects to tenants where the landlord must have received written notice of the violation from a local housing code enforcement agency.

Restricting local governments from imposing burdens like an eviction moratorium or anything that limits a tenant’s responsibility, or a landlord’s right to recover, for any damage to, or neglect of, the premises.

More time to return a security deposit if a tenant is evicted.

Landlords could include provisions in the lease that allow the landlord to terminate the lease if a crime is committed at the property, even if the tenant could not have prevented the crime. (To comply with existing laws, this provision will not apply to  victims of domestic violence.)

The law will limit the circumstances where a landlord could be held accountable for unfair trade practices.

Employees and agents will be allowed to prosecute eviction cases without an attorney. The bill was approved by the state senate earlier this week.

Acceptance of partial or past due payment would not automatically end an eviction case.

Illegally parked cars could be towed immediately.

Eviction service of process could be by mail. Also, timelines for tenants to respond to an eviction are shortened.

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