Related Links

Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin (AASEW)

Chapter ATCP 134 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code – “Residential Rental Practices”

Chapter ATCP 125 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code – “Mobile Home Parks”

Chapter 704 of the Wisconsin Statutes – “Landlord and Tenant”

Chapter 799 of the Wisconsin Statutes – “Procedure In Small Claims”

City of Milwaukee Ordinances

City of Milwaukee Property Data

Consolidated Court Automation Program (CCAP)

Department of Neighborhood Services Property Recording Site

Department of Financial Institutions Corporation Search

EPA pamphlet  – “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home”

Fair Housing Blog (blog devoted to discrimination and fair housing issues)

Family Watchdog (National Sex Offender Search)

Joint Statement of HUD and DOJ on Reasonable Accommodations Under The Fair Housing Act (5/14/04)

Joint Statement of HUD and DOJ on Reasonable Modifications Under The Fair Housing Act (5/5/08)

LIRC Equal Rights Decision Digest


Landlord Services, LLC (credit reports for landlords)

Lead-Based Paint Federal Disclosure Rule (24 C.F.R. Part 35 subpart A)

Military Status

Milwaukee Municipal Court Case Information System (MMCCIS)

Municipal Codes for Municipalities throughout Wisconsin

Owner Rights (compilation of articles related to real estate and rental housing industry)

Rent Recovery Service, Inc. (a national collection agency of tenant debt)

SSN Validator (social security number validator)

Sec. 106.50 of the Wisconsin Statutes – “Wisconsin’s Fair Housing Statute”

Subsidized Housing – HUD Manual

Wisconsin Dep’t of Corrections Sex Offender Registry

Wisconsin Legal Blank Co., Inc. (landlord-tenant legal forms)

The Wisconsin Way: A Guide For Landlords and Tenants

Petrie &

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  • #1 by Ester on May 23rd, 2010

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    I just found this blog and this is just great! I was actually looking for information on the RRI program and already see that some landlords have taken legal action. I would appreciate if you could contact me off list regarding a unique situation for us and the RRI program.

    Also, do you have an email address to the RRI program?

  • #2 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on May 29th, 2010

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    Thanks Ester – I hope that the blog is helpful. Please feel free to give me a call at (414) 276-2850 to discuss your unique situation.

  • #3 by Leon Pachowitz on August 26th, 2010

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    After a sheriff sale does a comercial lease end or does the tenant still have the rights under the lease.

  • #4 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on August 27th, 2010

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    Leon – Thanks for your question. Teh lender (or whomever is doing the foreclosing) can request and obtain a writ as part of the foreclosure process. However, the tenatn does have certain rights that may allow them to remain in the foreclosed rental property beyond the Sheriff sale — see Wis. Stats. sec. 846.35

  • #5 by Ramelle Bintz on December 21st, 2010

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    My furnace failed last week in a rental property and the pipes froze and burst causing severe damage. My insurance agent now tells me there is a clause that stipulates if a unit has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days immediately before the loss there is no coverage. Is this normal? I am shocked and due to the housing market, became an an unexperienced, reluctant landlord. Do I need an attorney? I have suffered a great loss through no fault or negligence. Any advice?

  • #6 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on December 23rd, 2010

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    Ramelle — I am sorry to hear about your predicament. I’m not a big fan of insurance companies (I worked for an insurance defense law firm for 8 months after law school and despised it) as they collect your premiums and then when you actually need to make a claim they try to find ways to not cover you.

    I have not heard of the specific exclusion that you mentioned, but I also do not deal with a lot of insurance coverage issues. Insurance policies while generally covering the same areas (momeowners, auto, errors and ommissione etc) often have very differernt language.

    You certainly can hire an attorney to review your insurance policy to give you their opinion on if the event is covered by the policy or you can appeal the denial administratively.

  • #7 by John on January 3rd, 2011

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    I have a residential property in Menomonee Falls with tenants in place until April of 2012. I would prefer to sell the home than keep it. Where is a place I can advertise it to other landlords that it is for sale without Real Estate Agents.

  • #8 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on January 5th, 2011

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    Hi John – Thanks for your question. If you are a member of the AASEW there is a trader’s corner (which also involves selling and buying) before each monthly membership meeting. there are also free ads to members in the AASEW Monthly magazine. I have also seen people list property for sale on the AASEW list serv on Yahoo Groups.

    If you are a member of Milwaukee RING (Real Estate Investors Networking Group, members are allowed to stand up during a portion of the monthly membership meeting to indicate if they have any proeprty for sale.

  • #9 by Jazmine on July 14th, 2011

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    I enjoy this blog it is extremly useful when I run into day to day problems that I dont know what to do. I was wondering if you could be some assistace to me because I was looking through your past blogs to see if anything you mention delt with renting to someone under 18, but I couldn’t find anything that stood out. What is the rules on renting to someone under 18?

  • #10 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on July 14th, 2011

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    Jasmine — People under the age of 18 years old cannot enter into any legally binding contracts. So if you are renting to anyone 17 years old or younger you will want to get an adult to co-sign for them otherwise the 17 year old could disappear in the middle of the night and you could not enforce the contract against them


  • #11 by julie Walls on September 6th, 2011

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    My Father n Law won judgement against a person in small claims for back rent and damages for his property she had rented.This woman was ordered to pay him a certain amount,has refused to pay him what is legally owed to him.It has probably been nearly 6 months at least since the judgement.But the problem is that his wife,my mother n law was tragically killed in an automobile accident unfortunately,now he cannot remember her last name nor find his wife’s prior rental book or paper work.I’m trying to help him but all I know is the person’s first name and when she rented the house,how do I find out her last name so he can try to have her wages garnished,if possible.

  • #12 by julie Walls on September 6th, 2011

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    If available is their any way somebody can send me an address of a website or a local office to help him find out this information for him without him having to go a bunch of different places he is also 86 years old and hopefully their is somewhere I can just email Thank You,Sincerely,Julie

  • #13 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on September 6th, 2011

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    MS. Walls — If this lawsuit was filed in Wisconsin, there is an online database called CCAP that you can look up your father’s name on and all cases in which he was a named party will show up. Go to the page on my blog entitled “Relevant Links” (it is beneath the header and the picture of the Milwaukee skyline) there is a link to CCAP there. Or you can go to “google” and type in Milwaukee Circuit Court Automated or CCAP and it will come up. If the suit was filed in another state, you will need to contact th elocal bar association to see if that state has something similar to Wisconsin’s CCAP

  • #14 by Tasha on September 7th, 2011

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    I tried to serve a resident a 5-day notice for non-payment of rent but she would not take it. (We were face to face). Instead she put her check on my desk and walked out. I understand she cured the 5-day by paying but can this 5-day go in her file? (In case she doesn’t pay in the future and a 14-day would have to be started.)

  • #15 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on September 7th, 2011

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    Tasha — I would argue that you did serve her (she just chose not to take it) and then she subsequently cured the 5 day by paying within the 5 day cure period. So in my view that would count as a prior 5 day within the prior 12 months, so if she is late again you could serve her with a 14 day notice with no right to cure.

    Whether or not a court would agree with me, I cannot say. But I believe you served her.

    In the future you can avoid this issue by serving via certified mail. By going this route you also can avoid any altercations with the tenant.


  • #16 by Dani on September 20th, 2011

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    I live in Madison and recently move out of my apartment. My previous building company charged me for carpet replacement and pictures associated with the charge. I look at the pictures and they do no match the pictures I took when I moved out. The 1st picture if less than a inch of carpet coming up in the doorway that I was caused because if door being stuck. The 2nd was a snag in the carpet less than two inches. I found it odd that I was being charged for carpet that was deeply soiled and smelly before I moved in. The carpet was so deeply soiled that our feet and socks turn blacked during our stay.

  • #17 by Dani on September 20th, 2011

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    I was wondering if there anything that I can do?

  • #18 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on September 22nd, 2011

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    Dani — If you feel that your security deposit was improperly kept or deducted then you should consult with a lawyer to assist you in evaluationg if your landlord acted improperly

  • #19 by Tasha on October 6th, 2011

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    Could you refer me to some information on how to correctly service notices for a section 8 property. Such as when to serve a 14-day notice vs when to serve a 30-day notice? An example is I served someone a 30-day notice for distrubance of neighbors and I have a previous 5-day and police reports to support the 30-day. Now I am being told I should have served a 14-day notice instead.

  • #20 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on October 7th, 2011

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    Tasha — the issue of what notice you can serve and when is the same as for state statutes — you should refer to my posts on notices regarding that. With regard to service of a notice on a section 8 site-based property – those service requires are different then the state laws and you should look to the HUD Handbook for that information.

    If your questions is regarding Sec 8 voucher prgram and not the Sec. 8 site based “projects” then the service issue is the same as market rate as set forth in the state statute.

    There is no such thing a 30 day notice unless your tenant is under a lease for more than one year. When they are under a lease for 1 year or less then your options are 5 day and 14 days. You can only serve the 14 day notice if you served a prior 5 day for same or similar breach within prior 12 months.

  • #21 by Carol Hochschild on April 1st, 2012

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    In a 4-family the building, one units electrical box had a loose
    wire. Tenant called fire dept. Electrician fixed problem. Tenant
    says their x-box and equipment was damaged and want $400
    to replace it. We are using a legal rental document which states the renter needs rental insurance and this was also
    said verbally to the tenant before rental. Do we have to pay
    the $400? Thanks. Very imformative blog.

  • #22 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on April 2nd, 2012

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    Carol — I cant give legal advice via this blog. I also do not have all of the necessary facts to advise yu even if I could give legal advise. You should consult with an attorney that you retain to give you legal advice.

    Some of the relevant issues would be if you were aware of the faulty electircal system, and when, if you were aware of it did you ignore it etc. Those types of issues would all be relevant to determining if you would be responsible for reimbursing the tenant in addition to the renter’s insurance issue.


  • #23 by jerry on April 30th, 2012

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    Interesting dilemma—Tenant signs a yr lease, and pays 1st mo rent with lease–SD due on 1st when occupying. Tenant doesnt show up on 1st–cant reach. Can we terminate (by letter or 5-day required, or??) and try to rerent. (charge tenant for rent out of payment–refund balance ??)We think there are family issues or $$ problems but havent given possession. Must we wait for them to show up in next few days?? Not sure on this??

  • #24 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on April 30th, 2012

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    Jerry – Sorry to hear about the problem. You cant give them a 5 day notice for failure to pay rent becasue they already paid rent.

    In the future you can avoid this by doing things a bit differently. Have them pay the security deposit at the same time they sign the rental agreement. No security deposit then they dont sign the rental agreement and then you are not locked into a contract with them.

    Then when they pay you the first month rent – closer to the date they are to move in you give them the keys. If they dont pay rent then you dont give them the keys.

    I cant give legal advice via this blog and essentially that is what you are asking for.

    Best best is to try and contact them as you have been. Contact the emergency contanct listed on the rental application etc etc. Depending on how your rental agreement is written you may be able to give them a 5 day notice for breach of lease (other than non-payment of rent) for the failure to pay the security deposit — again depends on the wording of the rental agreement.

    Since your situation is pretty fact specific and you are seeking legal advice you may want to contact a lawyer to assist you.


  • #25 by jerry on May 19th, 2012

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    A tenant moves out/vacates on last day of month around 1130pm, and leaves keys in unit. No new tenant yet coming into rental. Does 21-day period start that day or next day when landlord gets in to get keys?(couldnt meet at almost midnight)..Further one tenant has keys and doesnt return keys until 10 days later? Does 21-day tecnically begin on that day that final set of keys returned? Tenant claims they surrended on last occupancy date at 1130pm of course.

  • #26 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on May 24th, 2012

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    Jerry – Please understand that I cannot give legal advice via this blog. When a tenant surrenders a rental unit is a very confusing issue. As a result I always advise landlords to mail out the security deposit itemization letters early so that this is a non-issue. If you mail out the letter early then whether or not your decision as to when the tenant surrendered the unit is irrelevant as it doesnt become an issue.

    ATCP 134.06(2)(b) defines when a tenant surrenders the property.

    After reading those – you will still be confused as most of us are. So play it safe and mail it out early.

    The court makes the final decision as to when a tenant surrenders the unit. Take control of the situation yourself and then the court won’t have to decide for you. The closest thing to an answer to your question can be found in ATCP134.06(2)(b).

  • #27 by Tasha on July 9th, 2012

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    I have a tenant who was late with her rent. I have the policy set up where you can receive two 5-day notices for late rent but the third time you are late, you will receive a 14-day notice and will be asked to move. She knows the policy so when I went to serve her, she was not home. I did certify mail it as well but when I came into the office, she had put the check in the mailbox. Do I have to accept the check or can I give it back to her and advise her the 14-day has already been served?

  • #28 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on July 12th, 2012

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    Tasha — I cannot provide legal advice via this blog but I can talk about the issue that you raise generally. As long as the tenant was served with the 14 day notice before she tried to pay rent you do not need to accept it. In WI anything mailed via certified mail is deemed served after two days. So for example if you mailed the 14 day notice on July 5th, it would be deemed served by July 7th. So if tenant tries to pay before July 5th then you would need to accept the rent as the 14 day notice was not yet served. If tenant tries to pay after the 5th then you can refuse the rent check or return it as she had been served with the 14 day notice and a 14 day notice does not allow the tenant the opportunity to cure the breach. Hope that that general advice assist you in your specific situation.


  • #29 by Beth on January 13th, 2014

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    Our tenants are still late on rent(they would like to pay the second half today). Can I give them a quit or pay now? They also have someone else living on the home that is not on the lease. Can we evict them for this?

  • #30 by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. on January 22nd, 2014

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    Potentially. I cannot give legal advice via this blog. But typically, failure to pay rent and having an unauthorized person living with you are violations that would allow a LL to serve a notice to pay rent or vacate and/or notice to correct breach or vacate.