Real Estate & Construction

Yesterday was a busy day for those legislators that are not fans of landlords or what we do as a profession.  As if the rampant sealing of eviction records that is prevalent in Milwaukee County was not bad enough (so that future landlords will not be aware that an applicant had a recent eviction), below is a list of proposed legislation from Madison that is being passed around by the authors trying to get co-sponsors.

If this isn’t a
Continue Reading Proposed Anti-Landlord Legislation Being Shopped Around Seeking Co-Sponsors

In the process of obtaining building permits, business owners and real estate developers may encounter situations where they need to address special use variances with the Board of Zoning Appeals. Understanding when these variances are required is crucial to navigating the complex world of zoning and land use regulations. Because the procedures that must be followed when handling these types of appeals can be complicated, it is crucial for property owners and developers to work with an attorney who
Continue Reading When Will Use Variances Be Required for Building Permits?

As the construction industry continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly important for construction companies to safeguard themselves against potential risks and liabilities. One crucial aspect of risk management is ensuring that downstream contractors and suppliers have adequate insurance coverage.

This article outlines steps construction companies should take to ensure proper insurance coverage for their downstream partners and discusses the significance of certificates of insurance, the limitations they pose, and the importance of various policy endorsements.
About Certificates of Insurance
Continue Reading Ensuring Adequate Insurance Coverage for Downstream Contractors and Suppliers

My next Landlord Boot Camp for the Rental Property Association of Wisconsin, Inc. (formerly known as the AASEW) will be held on Saturday November 4, 2023. This Boot Camp will be in-person and streamed virtually. You choose the format that best serves you.
There have been so many changes in how evictions and other Landlord-Tenant law matters are handled post COVID that I strongly recommend that you attend this Boot Camp to get caught up on all the changes. 
Continue Reading Next LANDLORD BOOT CAMP will be November 4, 2023

State of Wisconsin sent this bulletin at 06/22/2023 09:46 AM CDT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2023Contact: Gov. Evers Signs Bipartisan Package of Affordable Housing Legislation MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed five bipartisan bills to help expand access to safe, affordable housing for working families, a critical effort to help support the state’s workforce and maintain the state’s economic momentum. “Access to safe, reliable, and affordable housing statewide is an absolutely critical part of addressing Wisconsin’s
Continue Reading Governor Evers Signs Bipartisan Package of Affordable Housing Legislation

Two U.S. Senators recently introduced a new federal bill that is being referred to as the “Fair Housing Improvement Act” (FHIA).  The FHIA introduces two additional protected classes to the seven protected classes under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.  
The first proposal would make veterans of wars a new federal protected class.
The second, would make “source of income” a new federal protected class.  If “source of income” becomes a federal protected class then landlords would be unable
Continue Reading Attempt to Add Source of Income and Veteran Status As New Federal Protected Classes

By Atty. Gary D. Koch
Clauses requiring tenants to provide 60-Day Notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy are popular – we see them a lot in rental agreements. Recently, though, we have seen the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection take issue with such clauses in rental agreements in month-to-month tenancies that require the tenant to give anything more than a 28-Day Notice to terminate the tenancy.
These DATCP challenges can end one of two ways: the
Continue Reading Beware of Clauses Requiring More than 28-Days’ Notice to Terminate Month-to-Month Tenancies

A new and updated version of the Nonstandard Rental Provisions (NSRP) form that I draft is available for purchase at Wisconsin Legal Blank.  The need for the revisions were due to conversations that I had with the State (namely the Attorney General’s Office) while defending a client of mine during a Civil Investigative Demand (CID).  During our conversations, the AG’s office informed me that it was their opinion that a NSRP cannot state that a landlord can deduct from a tenant’s
Continue Reading Updated Nonstandard Rental Provision Form Available Now at Wisconsin Legal Blank

Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to choosing the right business structure. Three common options are sole proprietorships, DBAs, and limited liability companies (LLCs). While each structure has its advantages and disadvantages, understanding the differences between them is important to help you make an informed decision.

A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common business structure. In reality, it isn’t a business structure at all.  It is a business owned and run
Continue Reading What is the Difference Between a Sole Proprietorship, a DBA, and an LLC?

Earlier today, April 10, 2023, HUD announced that two of its housing partners reached a $3 Million settlement with a California property management company and more than 30 owners who were discriminating against families with children by prohibiting any outdoor play activities and requiring adult supervision of all children under the age of 14 years in all common areas.  Its was alleged that tenants who violated those rules faced the threat of eviction.  This discrimination allegedly occurred at more than 48 apartment
Continue Reading HUD Announces $3 Million Dollar Settlement with California Landlords for Discriminating Against Families With Children By Requiring Supervision and Prohibiting Outside Play

Nothing is more important to the construction industry than rock. Whether sand, gravel, crushed stone or blocks of stone, rock is used in everything from road building and concrete to countless building products, including drywall, insulation and glass. Rock is heavy and used in enormous quantities, so there is an obvious efficiency in locating sources close to consumers. Doing so means reduced haul distances, cleaner air, less heavy truck congestion, lower cost to consumers and that the money
Continue Reading Myth and the Permitting of Aggregate Mines

Most construction work is done pursuant to a set of plans and specifications issued by the architect that tells the contractor what they are to construct and the owner what they are receiving in exchange for the contract price. That is, the plans and specifications for a construction project describe the contractor’s scope of work.

But when work (especially in particularly in large and complex projects) does not conform to the plans and specifications, the parties involved need to
Continue Reading When Construction Projects Don’t Go According to Plans

It is no secret that interest rates have been rising over the last year and it is unclear whether interest rates will come down any time soon.  As widely reported, the rise in interest rates has cooled the real estate market causing some buyers to pause moving forward with real estate purchases. As an alternative to traditional financing, a land contract, also known as a contract for deed, is a legal agreement in which the real estate seller agrees
Continue Reading Land Contracts in Wisconsin: What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know