I have recently completed drafting 3 new forms that Wisconsin Legal Blank Co., Inc. now has available for purchase that should assist landlords and property managers with their rental units..
The new forms are:
1. Carbon Monoxide Detector Notice:
As of April 1, 2010, state law requires that an owner of a residential property must install a carbon monoxide detector in various locations within the property. This new notice sets forth the state requirements as to where the detectors must be located. The notice also alerts owners that state law requires the owner maintain the detector. The new law, which can be found at Sec. 101.149, Wis. Stats., also requires a tenant to provide an owner with written notice if the carbon monoxide detector is not working. Once the owner receives this notice s/he has 5 days to repair or replace the carbon monoxide detector.
This new form sets forth all of the pertinent requirements under the new law and acknowledges that the the owner has complied with this law. A tenant’s signature on the form acknowledges that the detectors in the rental unit are working and that the tenant is aware that they must notify the owner in writing should any detector stop working or not work properly.
2. Miscellaneous Complaint Form:
This document will provide landlords with a standardized form that s/he can use and provide to all tenants so that if a tenant has a complaint it can be documented properly in writing.
As we all know, it is easier for a landlord to monitor and address tenants complaints if they are provided in writing. Additionally, a tenant will often testify in court that they didn’t pay rent becasue the landlord failed to remedy some problem in the unit which the landlord was never notified of. If a landlord has a policy and procedure in place to provide all tenants with blank written complaint forms at the outset of the tenancy and require them to document any complaints in writing, the fact that a tenant failed to provide written notice of a problem (when a form was provided) should help to avoid those “he said – she said” situations in court.
3. Rent Promotion/Concession Agreement:
With the recession in full force, I have noticed that many of my clients and other landlords are offerring new tenants some form of concession in order to induce them to move-in. A common problem that I have noticed with the self-drafted promotion/concession agreements that are being used, is that many of them are not clear and do not accurately set forth the agreement. For example, many of the agreements that I have seen do not clearly state that if the tenant does not perform all obligations under the rental agreement for the term of the lease, that the concession will be forfeited. Failure to have this clearly stated in any concession agreement will allow the tenant to receive the benefits of the concession (such as first month’s rent free or reduced rent for first month’s rent) and still break or breach the lease.
It is my hope that with this form, landlords will at the very least have the necessary language to use — if they wish to offer a concession or promotion — so that should the tenant vacate prior to the end of the rental term, or be evicted prior to the rental term, or if the tenant’s tenancy is terminated by the landlord for any reason, that the tenant will forfeit ther rent concession.
I have been working on some additional forms for WLB that should be available in the near future — I will let you know when they are ready.