Landlord & Tenant

My next Landlord Boot Camp for the AASEW will be held on Saturday November 12, 2021.  This Boot Camp will be in-person and streamed virtually.  You choose the format that best serves you. 

    • Attendees will receive a searchable 100 page + PDF Boot Camp manual, making it easier to search and reference items in the future.
    • A recording will be available to attendees for 14 days after the event to re-watch portions that you want a deeper understanding of.


    Continue Reading The Next Landlord Boot Camp Will Be Held On Saturday, November 12, 2022

    By Atty. Gary D. Koch

    A previous post discussed methods of service of notices terminating tenancy, leaving a discussion on the various notices that can be utilized for a later post. Welcome to that post!

    When a landlord is in a situation where a tenancy needs to be terminated, the landlord must provide the tenant with a notice terminating the tenancy. This termination can be for a variety of reasons, or no reason at all (so long as
    Continue Reading Back To Basics – Notices Terminating Tenancy

    Unfortunately, landlords sometimes find themselves in the situation where they have to terminate the tenancy of a residential tenant. There are a variety of notices that can be used to do so, and that is a topic for another day. This post is on how to serve a notice terminating tenancy.

    Wisconsin Statue §704.21 delineates the methods by which a landlord can serve a notice on a tenant. Among the options are personal service, substitute service, posting and mailing
    Continue Reading Back to Basics – Service of the Notice Terminating Tenancy

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was signed into law on March 27, 2020, bringing many new wrinkles to the residential real estate rental practice. While several of its provisions have expired, specifically those regarding eviction moratoria, one particular provision lingers without an apparent sunset. Section 4024(c)(1) of the CARES Act requires that “[t]he lessor of a covered dwelling unit may not require the tenant to vacate the covered dwelling unit before the date that
    Continue Reading Who CARES? – Status on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

    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