Posts Tagged AASEW

AASEW MEETING: “Companion Animals – When A Landlord Must Accept Them” on August 18, 2014

I will be speaking at the AASEW’s monthly meeting on the issue of companion/comfort animals and when a landlord must accept them in their rental properties.

Disability-related complaints, including those that involve assistance animals, are the most common complaint filed with HUD over the past few years.  While the definition of a “service animal” under the ADA is very limited and requires that the animal be specifically trained (and excludes emotional support animals) that is not the case with the Fair Housing Act or Wisconsin’s Open Housing Law.  A tenant has the right to request a “reasonable accommodation” to a landlord’s “no pet” or “limited pet” policy and a landlord may be legally required to allow them to have a comfort/companion animal to accommodate their disability.

I have seen a surge in tenant’s requesting such accommodations as evidenced by a increase in angry telephone calls from clients upset about this issue.

Attend the AASEW’s next meeting on August 18, 2014 at 7 pm at the Best Western Hotel located at 1005 S. Moorland Road in Brookfield, and learn about this important and timely topic.

The cost is free to AASEW members and $25 for non-members of expired members.

Hope to see many of you there.




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Only 7 Days Left To Sign Up For Landlord Boot Camp on March 8th

There are just 7 days left to register for Landlord Boot Camp!!!

Come learn about Wisconsin’s new Landlord Tenant law – Act 76 – plus everything else you need to know about Landlord-Tenant law in Wisconsin.

The Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin’s 9th “Landlord Boot Camp” can help you navigate these treacherous waters and learn how to run your properties with greater profit and less hassles.

Who:           Taught by Attorney Tristan Pettit, who drafts the landlord tenant forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank

When:        March 8th, 2014 Saturday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Registration opens at 7:00 AM

Where:      Clarion Hotel 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee [Map]

Included: 100 plus page manual to help you put what you learn into practice.

Price:       Members           $159.        Non-Members   $249

You will also receive lunch.

Specials: Not a member?  Pay just $1 more than the non-member price and receive both the Boot Camp and an AASEW membership for the remainder of 2014 including member discounts at Home Depot, Sherwin Williams and more.

Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws are constantly changing and with Act 76 becoming effect on March 1st — the law has had some significant changes.

What you will learn at the Apartment Association’s 2014 Landlord Boot Camp:

Landlord Boot Camp covers everything that you need to know about residential Landlord Tenant law in Wisconsin, as amended in March 2012 by Act 143 and again in March 2013 with the passage of Act 76, including:

  1. How to properly screen prospective tenants.
  2. How to draft written screening criteria to assist you in the selection process.
  3. How to comply with both federal and state Fair Housing laws including how to comply with “reasonable modifications”  and “reasonable accommodations” requests.
  4. How to legally reject an applicant.
  5. What rental documents you should be using and why.
  6. When you should be using a 5-day notice versus a 14-day notice, 28-day notice, or 30-day notice and how to properly serve the notice on your tenant.
  7. Everything you wanted to know (and probably even more than you wanted to know) about the Residential Rental Practices (ATCP 134) and how to avoid having to pay double damages to your tenant for breaching ATCP 134.
  8. When you are legally allowed to enter your tenant’s apartment.
  9. How to properly draft an eviction summons and complaint.
  10. What to do to keep the commissioner or judge from dismissing your eviction suit.
  11. What you can legally deduct from a security deposit.
  12. How to properly draft a security deposit transmittal (“21 Day”) letter
  13. How to handle pet damage.
  14. What to do with a tenant’s abandoned property and how this may affect whether or not you file an eviction suit.
  15. How to pursue your ex-tenant for damages to your rental property and past due rent (and whether it is even worth it to do so).
  16.  Who can appear in court to handle an eviction as of March 1st.
  17.  What language you must have in your rental agreement starting March 1st or risk a court declaring it void and unenforceable.

Last year’s AASEW Landlord Boot Camp was filled to capacity.  So call early to reserve your spot.

The easiest way to register is to do so online at or you can call the Association at (414) 276-7378 or email them today to reserve your spot.


Hope to see many of you there.



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AASEW Meeting: Come Learn About The New Landlord-Tenant Law (Act 76) on Feb. 17th

As many of you know I have been blogging over the past month or so about aspects of the new Landlord-Tenant law that goes into effect on March 1, 2014.  Well, I will continue to blog about the new law in the future, but if you would prefer to learn all about Act 76 in its entirety you should plan on coming to the next AASEW monthly meeting on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7 pm at the Best Western in Brookfield.

Atty. Heiner Giese and myself, both of whom were actively involved in the drafting of this new law, will be presenting the new law in its entirely at this meeting.  I will be handling out my outline/summary of the new law as well and Heiner will be handing out copies of the new language that MUST be included in all residential real rental agreements as of March 1, 2014.

In my opinion, this will be the single most important AASEW meeting of the year.  So you will not want to miss it.

Attendence at the meeting is free for current AASEW members or $25 per person for non-members (if you join the AASEW at the meeting the $25 fee will be credited to your membership).  If you would like to join the AASEW ahead of time so that you can more quickly find a seat for the meeting you should call Betzi at 414-276-7378 prior to the meeting.

I look forward to seeing everyone there.



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GUEST POST: Is the Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin Against the City of Milwaukee?

Is the Apartment Association against the City of Milwaukee?

After a recent meeting I received an email from an irate member who was offended by some of my commentary regarding the city of Milwaukee, it seemed the association had an anti-Milwaukee tone to its messages. Having committed much of my career to making Milwaukee, especially its central core, a better place to live I was initially surprised by the feedback, nonetheless it is a legitimate question and one deserving of a response.

First let me remind everyone that the association is an all-volunteer organization and we welcome the participation of all landlords (in fact we will be holding officer elections soon so please email me if you are interested). I would encourage anyone unhappy with something we are doing or saying to speak up and be heard. Write an article in the Owner, email me, or better yet join a committee or board of directors. We are an organization of almost 1000 members and the diversity of our perspectives and experiences is a strength we should draw from. That being said I will address this issue head on after first making the obligatory disclaimer that the thoughts expressed below are solely mine and in no way constitute an official position of the AASEW.

I am not against the City of Milwaukee, however I have significant concerns with its view towards residential property owners/investors. Having lived in the city my entire life I have witnessed first-hand the deterioration of many of our communities and the City’s inept response to address this crisis. A common refrain cited for this decline is absentee landlords who allow their properties to fall into disrepair and if only we could force them to be accountable our problems would be solved. While there is some truth to this it would be tantamount to saying our City’s larger decline is due solely to shifting macro-economic trends that decimated American manufacturing. While it is certainly part of the issue, a narrow focus on either cause over simplifies the problem at hand and leaves one ill equipped to develop effective solutions to address the problem.

Are absentee landlords who neglect their properties an issue in many communities? Absolutely but maintaining your property and being responsible to your neighbors should be a standard imposed on every property owner including owner occupied buildings. Focusing exclusively on landlords obfuscates the true nature of the problem and does nothing to solve it. This is a fundamental flaw in the thinking at city hall and has done as much to harm property values in the city as the financial crisis.

In my early 20’s I bought a house in Lindsay Heights that I did a first rate renovation on and was proud to call home. After years of battling with neighbors from hell, who were owner occupants, and receiving no succor from DNS, my alderman, or anyone else at city hall I rented out the property and moved to the suburbs. Ironically had this very property been subjected to the same standards of compliance as non-owner occupied properties in Lindsay Heights, I would probably still be living in the city of Milwaukee.

Further evidence of the City’s “tolerance” for landlords is their response to their growing portfolio of tax foreclosed properties. City hall has proposed a variety of creative solutions to deal with this problem including allowing tenants to use their Section 8 check to pay the mortgage the city would carry. Ironically very few of their solutions involve investors and established landlords within the city. Ponder this, our association alone as the wherewithal to buy every last city owned property and turn them back into productive assets, yet the city has not reached out to us once to have a serious conversation about how to make that happen.

It is clear to me as an investor that the city does not view our industry as a strategic partner in which to work hand and hand  to deliver low cost, high quality housing to its residents. It is a position that has led to disastrous results in many of our neighborhoods; one can only hope they understand the definition of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly yet expecting a different result.

In conclusion Joe Dahl loves the city of Milwaukee and will stand next to any person and compare my investment and efforts to make it a better place. However I am very troubled by our leadership and its “tolerance” of landlords. It is my desire to see Milwaukee thrive, yet I am not naïve enough to ignore what happened to our counterpart in Michigan. It is my sincere hope the city recognizes it needs all hands on deck to achieve the former and avoid the latter……and yes city hall that includes landlords!

Joe Dahl

President AASEW


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AASEW MEETING: Eviction Court Essentials — Monday, August 19, 2013

The AASEW’s next meeting will be this coming Monday, August 19, 2013 at 7 pm at the Best Western in Brookkfield.

The Apartment Association of Southeastern WI welcomes Milwaukee County Circuit Court Commissioner Cedric Cornwall as our main speaker at our August meeting.  With all of the recent law changes in the landlord-tenant law arena, Commissioner Cornwall will speak to the group on the preferred procedures to follow in eviction court along with some of the common mistakes that he and his colleagues observe landlords making in court.  As always, there will be time for questions for the Commissioner as well.

This is a must attend event for every owner of rental property in Milwaukee County and beyond. All always this event is free to members and 25 dollars for guests.

When: Monday, August 19th, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: The Best Western, 1005 S. Moorland Road, Brookfield 53005

Who:  Eviction Court Commissioner Cedric S. Cornwall

Cost:  Free for current AASEW members, $25 for guests and expired members.


About our speaker:

Cedric S. Cornwall has lived in Milwaukee County for 30 years and practiced law here for 27 years. A graduate of Marquette University Law School, he currently serves as a Milwaukee County Judicial Court Commissioner, where he presides over hearings in Children’s Court, Small Claims Court, Intake Court, Preliminary Hearing Court, and Traffic Court. Assigned to the Vel R. Phillips Juvenile Justice Center, he also conducts settlement conferences, delinquency hearings, and permanency plan review hearings.

Commissioner Cornwall previously served as a Manager for the City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission and in the Trial Division of the Office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender, and was a partner in the Law Offices of Cornwall, Rhiel, and Yahahiro and in the small private firm he founded in 1999, where he gained extensive trial experience in criminal, juvenile, traffic, and supervision revocation cases. Commissioner Cornwall lives in Wauwatosa with his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters.



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AASEW Meeting: Learn the Ins & Outs of Low Income Tax Credit Financing on July 15th.

You look at conversions such as the knitting factory being turned into loft apartments on the near Southside and you wonder ‘How could they afford to do this, in this market?’

The answer is Low Income Tax Credit Financing.  A brief overview is you design a project, go to the state (WHEDA) and apply for tax credits.  If all goes well and you are approved, you receive federal income tax credits.  There is a formula based on the amount you spend, the number of units that are reserved for occupants below the county median income and a bunch of other factors.

These credits will be far in excess of what a normal investor/developer can personally use.  So they “syndicate” the tax credits to an investment group.  The investors get income tax saving in exchange for the money you need to put the project together.

It is a very competitive application process.  It is a very intense process. It is a fairly expensive process.  If you are looking for an easy dollar, you are looking the wrong way.  I speak from the experience of having tried and failed at obtaining tax credit financing to create accessible infill housing on the near north and near south sides of Milwaukee a bit over a decade ago.

But if you can break into this market you can do well, while doing good.

So it was a decade ago and I haven’t tried since, so why bring it up today?  The July Apartment Association meeting features Keith Broadnax of Great Lakes Capital Fund, one of the tax credit financing investment groups.  Years later I still find this was an intriguing opportunity.

- Tim Ballering, AASEW Board member & Owner of Affordable Rentals

You do not want to miss this meeting!

When: Monday, July 15, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: The Best Western, 1005 S. Moorland Road, Brookfield 53005

Who:  Keith Broadnax of the Cap Fund

Cost:  Free for current AASEW members, $25 for guests and expired members.


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AASEW Meeting: Is Property Management An Art or A Science? – June 17, 2013 at 7 pm.

Join the Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin on June 17th  as we have masters of the craft present on Best Practices in Property Management along with the legal ramifications of failing to follow the rules.  SE Wisconsin is clearly a pro tenant district so educate yourself to the possible landmines that await you along with what some are doing to avoid them.  It will be an educational night with many real world anecdotes — that I am sure you will be able to relate to – and practical real world advice you can apply to your business to protect your assets and increase your profits!

When: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: The Best Western, 1005 S. Moorland Road, Brookfield 53005

Who:  Attorney Tristan Pettit and Professional Property Manager Stacy Hegg

Cost:  Free for current AASEW members, $25 for guests and expired members.

About our speakers

Attorney Tristan Pettit, drafts many of the standardized landlord tenant forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank.  Tristan is in eviction court nearly every week representing many members of the Association and other landlords.  Tristan presents Landlord Boot Camp for the Association twice a year.  He also presents similar courses for attorneys across the state.

Tristan R. Pettit is a shareholder with the Milwaukee law firm of Petrie & Stocking S.C. which has been in existence for over 115 years assisting individuals, families and businesses throughout the state.  He focuses his practice in the area of general civil and business litigation with an emphasis on landlord-tenant law.

Mr. Pettit handles both commercial and residential evictions and the accompanying damages claims for his clients throughout the state. He has also been involved in litigation dealing with lead-based paint, bedbugs, Fair Housing (discrimination) claims, building code orders, public nuisance lawsuits, and both the prosecution and defense of Wisconsin Administrative Code – ATCP 134 violations.

He assists clients with the drafting and interpretation of commercial leases and residential rental agreements and other rental documents and is the author of the landlord-tenant legal forms sold at Wisconsin Legal Blank Co., Inc., which are used throughout the state.

Mr. Pettit presents seminars on landlord-tenant law and related matters throughout the state and is a past president of the Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. and is currently serving on its Board of Directors. He also is the author of a popular Wisconsin landlord-tenant law blog that can be found at

Stacy Hegg is a professional property manager who has more than 20 years experience in multi-housing management in the Greater Milwaukee Area.

Stacy’s career commenced as a Leasing Consultant at a large market rate community in Glendale while attending Cardinal Stritch College. Upon graduation Stacy became a full time Property Manager on a unique, Section 42 renovation on 24th and Wells. Her extensive and varied experience extends from Section 42 and Section 8 communities to luxury developments. She has managed multi-family portfolios for professional realty companies such as: Ogden, Bielinski, and Bryce Styza Properties. She managed Cedar Square Apartments on the Marquette University Campus for 2 years and currently manages for Wellston Apartments where she oversees a 400 unit portfolio near UW-Milwaukee.


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