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ACT 76 – Wisconsin’s New Landlord-Tenant Law – Part 2: Restrictions on Local Ordinances

As I mentioned in Part 1, the soon to be new law contains new provisions as well as some corrective provisions (which will correct unintended consequences from last year’s new law Act 143).  In this blog post I will talk about one of the new provisions of the law which will restrict a local municipality from creating and/or enforcing certain local ordinances.

The new law will creates sec. 66.0104(2)(c) and (d), Wis. Stats., which says that a municipality may not enact or enforce an ordinance that:

a.   Limits a residential tenant’s responsibility, or a residential landlord’s right to recover for damage, waste or neglect of the premises, or for any other costs, expenses, fees payments or damages for which tenant is responsible under law or under the rental agreement.

b.  Requires a landlord to communicate to a tenant any information that is not required to be communicated under federal or state law.

i.e. City of Madison’s ordinance that requires landlords to distribute voter registration information to new tenants will not be enforceable under this new law.

c.  That requires a landlord to communicate to a municipality any information regarding the landlord or tenant unless:

(1) Information is required under federal or state law.

(2) Information is required of all residential real estate owners (not just landlords!)

(3) Information will enable a person to contact the owner, or agent of the owner.

Note: This subsection does not apply to an ordinance that has a reasonable and clearly defined objective of regulating the manufacture of illegal narcotics.

So what will the net effect of this new provision of the law curtailing local municipalities from enacting and enforcing certain ordinances?  According to one tenant advocate SB 179 will eliminate over 20 Madison ordinances.  SB 179 should also eliminate Milwaukee’s Residential Rental Inspection (RRI) pilot project in the UW-M and Lindsay Heights neighborhoods.

It should be noted however that the new law will not eliminate “rental recording” in various municipalities as earlier versions of SB 179 had.  Under the final version of the law, landlords will still have to provide their ownership and contact information to the municiaplity since doing so would fall under the above exception since the information will enable a person to contact the owner or agent of the owner.

To learn more on the background and overview of Wisconsin’s new Landlord-Tenant Law read my prior post.


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Petrie & Stocking Unveils New Labor & Employment Law Blog entitled “Talking Workplace Law”

Petrie & Stocking’s  Labor and Employment team, comprised of Attorneys Roger Pettit, Dave McClurg and Lindsey King, have unveiled a new labor and employment law blog titled “Talking Workplace Law.”  The blog went live on August 28, 2011.

The goal of the blog is to provide cutting edge perspectives on management issues and litigation risks for Human Resource professionals and business owners and others in the Labor and Employment industry.

The blog already contains several interesting posts on issues such how Wisconsin’s new carry concealed weapons law will affect employers, terminating employees based on comments on their Facebook pages, and confidentiality agreements (and Tiger’s mistress).

I hope that everyone will check it out and consider subscribing to its free email notification service.



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Don’t Miss Bed Bug Boot Camp on June 28th, 2011

In response to the unprecedented spike in the resurgence of of bed bugs in the past year, Wil-Kil Pest Control is offerring a Bed Bug Boot Camp.  From pest identification to the legal ramifications of bed bugs, both sessions offer property owners and managers the tools they need to effectively respond to the threat of bed bugs and includes a Bed Bug Canine Scent Detection Demonstration.

Click here to see the Bed Bug Boot Camp flyer.

The Milwaukee seminar will take place on June 28th, 2011 from 1 pm – 4:30 pm at the Radisson Hotel Milwaukee West at 2303 N. Mayfair Road in Milwaukee.

I will be speaking at the Milwaukee session on the legal ramifications of bed bugs nto landlords and property managers.  Specifically, I will discuss the requirement that landlords provide tenants with a habitable rental property, local ordinances regarding extermination issues, and how a landlord and/or property manager can best prepare themselves to deal with any legal issues that may arise from a bed bug infestation.

There is no cost to attend the seminar.  You must however, preregister for the seminar by going to Wil-Kil’s website.

There will also be a Bed Bug Boot Camp in the Madison area on June 30, 2001 from 1 pm – 4:30 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn Madison (West) at 1801 Deming Way in Middleton.  Atty. Jay Koritzinsky will be speaking on the legal aspects of bed bugs at this session.

This will be a very timely and informative seminar that will be well worth your time.  Hope to see you all there.


City of Waukesha’s Free Landlord Training Program Tomorrow

For those of you who own and/or manage rental properties in the city of Waukesha or the surrounding areas, the City of Waukesha Police Department will be holding its Landlord Training Program tomorrow, April 13, 2011.

The program will be held at the Rotary Building which is located at 1150 Baxter Street (behind the Frame Park baseball diamond).

I will presenting a free seminar as part of the program starting at 12:30 pm.  Specifically I will be speaking on two topics:

1.  Causes for Eviction

2.  Notices To Pay Rent or Teminate Tenancy

I hope to see you there.