Landlord & Tenant

Housing is important to all of us, whether we have gone through a bankruptcy or not. People often have concerns about being able to obtain housing after a bankruptcy.

I have been practicing for over forty years and have represented thousands of people in bankruptcy cases. I have yet to have a client call me and tell me that they were homeless because of their bankruptcy filing.

Certainly there are some landlords who will view your credit history and
Continue Reading Renting a House or Apartment after Your Bankruptcy Case

One of the most common questions or misunderstandings we see among residential landlords is: When is the appropriate situation to use a 5-Day Notice to Pay/Cure or Quit (a “5-Day”) versus a 14-Day Notice Terminating Tenancy (a “14-Day”), which does not give the tenant the ability to cure the default and continue to reside in the premises?  The answer depends on a few factors, starting with the type of tenancy.
Tenancies for a Year or Less, or Year-to-Year Tenancies 
Continue Reading Five Days, Fourteen Days, and the Right to Cure: Notices to Terminate a Residential Tenancy

On Sept. 1, 2021, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee launched EvictionFreeMKE, a pilot program aimed at providing legal representation for individuals in Milwaukee County facing eviction.

The program is funded through commitments from the United Way and Rescue Plan Act funds from Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee. Anyone in Milwaukee County at or below 200% of the federal poverty level who has an eviction case brought against them now qualifies for a free attorney.
Data Points
Continue Reading ‘A Screaming Need:’ Why Eviction Defendants Need Representation

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a new opinion on August 26, 2021 which will perhaps be an end to the ongoing dispute over the legality of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (the “CDC”) eviction moratorium (the “moratorium”). A deeper dive into the terms of the moratorium and an analysis of the procedural posture as of the most recent renewal of the moratorium can be found in a prior KEW Tip, but a bit of context is
Continue Reading CDC Eviction Moratorium Upended by the U.S. Supreme Court

On August 3, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) announced another extension of its eviction Moratorium (“the Moratorium”). This article compares and contrasts the new Moratorium with previous iterations.

What has Changed?

The new Moratorium applies on a somewhat more restricted basis, at least in theory. Instead of applying in any state or territory in which there are documented cases of COVID-19, as in the previous versions of the Moratorium, the new order only applies in
Continue Reading Eviction Moratorium Extended Yet Again

Well that didn’t take long.  Not even two full business days after the CDC’s Eviction Moratorium ended and now we have another moratorium in place.

On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at the direction of President Biden, the CDC announced a new, temporary, limited federal eviction moratorium through October 3, 2021. This new Order is limited to counties that have a substantial or high rate of community spread of Covid.  This covers counties such as Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha,
Continue Reading CDC Announces A New, Temporary, Limited Eviction Moratorium Through October 3rd for Counties With Substantial and High Rates of Covid Transmission

The law in Wisconsin (including Madison) currently does not prevent using criminal background to screen potential clients. However, federal law does prohibit using arrest records (open criminal cases are considered arrest records) as a basis for a denial. Even if you are a small local landlord, you are subject to the federal law as an applicant that you deny could sue you under the federal law.  The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has said that arrests
Continue Reading Can I Reject a Tenant Based on Criminal History?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on June 24 that it is extending its order, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19, set to expire on June 30, until July 31. In issuing this extension, the CDC indicated that this is intended to be the final extension.

The content of the moratorium remains the same as the that of the previous extension, in March of 2021. As a reminder, you can
Continue Reading CDC Eviction Moratorium Extended Until July 31

In a published opinion, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals confirmed that landlords who fail to provide timely statements explaining the basis for withholding funds from a residential tenant’s security deposit may be subject to criminal prosecution and potential jail time.

In State of Wisconsin v. Lasecki, 2020 WI App 36, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed a circuit court judgment convicting Lasecki, a landlord, of two misdemeanor counts of engaging in unfair trade practices for failing to either return
Continue Reading Wisconsin Landlord Subjected to Tenancy in Jail

Even though the increase in vaccinations and other public health initiatives have resulted in a dramatic reduction in new COVID-19 cases hinting at a possible “return to normal,” recent industry publications are starting to report on an anticipated long-term result in what was once thought to be only a short-term trend for commercial leasing:  the permanent stay-at-home work force.

One of the results of the sweeping changes to workplace utilization over the past year has been the perpetuation of
Continue Reading Subleasing Poses Up-Front Risks to Commercial Landlords and Tenants

On March 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a joint statement saying that Landlords that evict or threaten to evict Tenants without advising the Tenants of their rights under the various eviction moratoria may be engaging in deceptive and unfair practices and will be monitored and investigated.

The FTC and CFPB added that there have been “reports that major multistate landlords are forcing people out of their homes despite the
Continue Reading FTC: Evictions or Eviction Threats During Moratoria May Be Deceptive or Unfair Practice

In welcome news for renters across the country, the Centers for Disease Control have extended the current Eviction Moratorium, which was set to expire on Wednesday, until June 30th. Under the extended order, residential tenants cannot be evicted from their homes solely for non-payment of rent, provided they give their Landlords (or Landlord’s agent) a signed copy of the CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration Form (link below). (Note also that tenants who previously provided their Landlords with the Declaration do
Continue Reading CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium to June 30th

March 31, 2021, brings the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium – which means that rental assistance will be more important than ever to keeping tenant housing secure from eviction.1 Here’s how you can help your clients who need rental assistance.
Tips on Rental Assistance
Tenants should be prepared to provide details about themselves and their situation. It can be jarring for those new to assistance programs to have to provide personal information,
Continue Reading When COVID Eviction Moratorium Ends: About Wisconsin Rental Assistance Programs

Have you noticed that landlords tend to be portrayed as evil and uncaring?  I’m reading lots of so-called news articles (that really are nothing but opinion pieces) with such sentiments.  The media also tend to treat all landlords as large companies making lots of money at the expense of tenants.  Did you know that the vast majority of landlords throughout the U.S. are small “mom & pop” landlords that own rental property in addition to working a full-time job?
Continue Reading The Landlords’ Side of the Story

On April 18, 2018, Governor Walker signed 2017 WI Act 317 which contains several provisions pertaining to the rights of landlords and tenants. In general, the changes are landlord-friendly. The breadth of the act is too large in scope for this blog article. But, check back with KEW Tips for more laws affecting landlords.

This article will focus on one aspect of the law: Emotional Support Animals, because who doesn’t love our furry (and not so furry) friends?
Continue Reading Landlord Law: Emotional Support Animals