Showing the property to potential renters and buyers.
Can a Landlord Enter Without Permission in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlordscan legally enter a rental property without the tenant’s permission,for the following purposes (unless there’s a special written agreement otherwise that’s separate from the lease):
Inspecting the property.
Maintenance and repairs.
Showing the property to potential renters and buyers.
Can a Landlord Enter Without the Tenant Present in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlordscan legally enter a rental property without the tenant present.
Can a Landlord Show a House While Occupied in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlordscan show an occupied house.The renter can’t unreasonably refuse.
How Often Can Landlords Conduct Routine Inspections in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlords haveno specific limiton how often they can enter for inspections. The landlord isn’t allowed to enter unreasonably often, but what’s reasonable gets decided case by case.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Need To Provide in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlords must provide12 hoursof advance notice before entering rental property, unless there’s an emergency or a special written agreement separate from the lease that gives the landlord other requirements.
Can a Landlord Enter Without Notice in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlordscan’t enter without noticeexcept as required for emergencies, unless the landlord and tenant have agreed otherwise in a special written agreement separate from the lease. In addition, the landlord must announce himself when entering and must identify himself to anyone on the property who asks.
How Can Landlords Notify Tenants of an Intention To Enter in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlords mustpersonally notifytenants,in writing only,of an intention to enter. This means if the tenant or tenant’s family aren’t available to receive written notice, the landlord must also mail notice or post it on the premises. Certified and registered mail also count for notice.
However, in Wisconsin,actual notice is what legally matters,even when it’s provided through an improper process. As long as the landlord successfully communicates his intentions to the tenant, the tenant is still on notice even when the communication wasn’t written, or got delivered incorrectly.
Can a Tenant Refuse Entry to a Landlord in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin tenantscan refuse entry to a landlordif there isn’t a special written agreement about entry rights that’s separate from the lease. Tenants can refuse entryfor any reasonexcept when the landlord is entering with proper notice at a reasonable time for:
Maintenance or repairs.
Showing the property.
Emergencies (no requirement for reasonable time or notice).
What Happens If the Tenant Illegally Refuses Entry to the Landlord in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin landlords cansue for monetary damagesorpost a5-day notice to complyand then cancel the lease if the tenant illegally refuses entry.The requirement is30 daysin a notice to comply where the lease term is for more than one year.
If it’s the second time in a year the tenant has illegally refused entry, the landlord can unilaterally cancel the lease with 14 days’ notice, instead of giving another notice to comply. This is only an option where the lease is for one year or less.
Can a Tenant Change the Locks Without Permission in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin tenantscannot change the locks without permissionunless the lease says otherwise. The tenant has to ask permission even when the landlord has actual notice of a criminal threat.
What Can a Tenant Do If the Landlord Enters Illegally in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin tenants can do any of the following if the landlord enters illegally:
Get a court order to ban the landlord from entering.
Sue for double the cost of actual damages, plus court costs and attorney fees.
Withhold a percentage of the rent.
Break the lease (if the entry completely prevents the intended use of the property).
“(a) Except as provided under par. (b) or (c), no landlord may do any of the following: 1. Enter a dwelling unit during tenancy except to inspect the premises, make repairs, or show the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers… for the amount of time reasonably required[.] … 2. Enter a dwelling unit during tenancy except upon advance notice and at reasonable times. Advance notice means at least 12 hours advance notice unless the tenant, upon being notified of the proposed entry, consents to a shorter time period.
“(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to an entry if any of the following applies: 1. The tenant, knowing the proposed time of entry, requests or consents in advance to the entry. 2. A health or safety emergency exists. 3. The tenant is absent and the landlord reasonably believes that entry is necessary to protect the premises from damage.”
“(c) A rental agreement may include a nonstandard rental provision authorizing a landlord to enter a tenant’s dwelling unit at reasonable times, under circumstances not authorized under par. (a) or (b). The landlord shall include the nonstandard provision, if any, in a separate written document entitled “NONSTANDARD RENTAL PROVISIONS” which the landlord provides to the tenant. The landlord shall specifically identify and discuss the nonstandard provision with the tenant before the tenant enters into any rental agreement with the landlord. If the tenant signs or initials the nonstandard rental provision, it is rebuttably presumed that the landlord has specifically identified and discussed that nonstandard provision with the tenant, and that the tenant has agreed to it.
“(1) So far as applicable, this section governs the rights and duties of the landlord and tenant in the absence of any inconsistent provision in writing signed by both the landlord and the tenant. Except as otherwise provided in this section, this section applies to any tenancy.
“(2) Until the expiration date specified in the lease, or the termination of a periodic tenancy or tenancy at will, and so long as the tenant is not in default, the tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises, except as hereafter provided. The landlord may upon advance notice and at reasonable times inspect the premises, make repairs and show the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers; and if the tenant is absent from the premises and the landlord reasonably believes that entry is necessary to preserve or protect the premises, the landlord may enter without notice and with such force as appears necessary.”
The pervasive presence of the landlord or his effects in a way that denies the full use of the home is a habitability violation: “Ledvina’s maintenance of personal property in ‘every closet, every nick and nook and cranny’ falls within the meaning of ‘other casualty’ in § 704.07(4). Because of the presence of Ledvina’s personal property, portions of the home and garage were rendered unuseable [sic]. To the extent that the Puksiches were denied the use of their home, § 704.07(4) allows them to reduce their rent.”
“(d) No landlord may enter a dwelling unit during tenancy without first announcing his or her presence to persons who may be present in the dwelling unit, and identifying himself or herself upon request.”
“Notice by the landlord or a person in the landlord’s behalf must be given…
“(a) By giving a copy of the notice personally to the tenant or by leaving a copy at the tenant’s usual place of abode in the presence of some competent member of the tenant’s family at least 14 years of age, who is informed of the contents of the notice;
“(b) By leaving a copy with any competent person apparently in charge of the rented premises or occupying the premises or a part thereof, and by mailing a copy by regular or other mail to the tenant’s last-known address;
“(c) If notice cannot be given under par. (a) or (b) with reasonable diligence, by affixing a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the rented premises where it can be conveniently read and by mailing a copy by regular or other mail to the tenant’s last-known address;
“(d) By mailing a copy of the notice by registered or certified mail to the tenant at the tenant’s last-known address;
“(e) By serving the tenant as prescribed in s. 801.11 for the service of a summons.”
“If notice is not properly given by one of the methods specified in this section, but is actually received by the other party, the notice is deemed to be properly given; but the burden is upon the party alleging actual receipt to prove the fact by clear and convincing evidence.”
“If a tenant under a lease for a term of one year or less, or a year-to-year tenant, commits waste or a material violation of s. 704.07 (3) or breaches any covenant or condition of the tenant’s lease, other than for payment of rent, the tenant’s tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant a notice requiring the tenant to remedy the default or vacate the premises on or before a date at least 5 days after the giving of the notice, and if the tenant fails to comply with such notice. … If within one year … the tenant again commits waste or breaches the same or any other covenant … other than for payment of rent, the tenant’s tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant notice to vacate on or before a date at least 14 days after the giving of the notice.”
“If a tenant under a lease for more than one year fails to pay rent when due, or commits waste, or breaches any other covenant or condition of the tenant’s lease, the tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to pay the rent, repair the waste, or otherwise comply with the lease on or before a date at least 30 days after the giving of the notice, and if the tenant fails to comply with the notice.”
“A landlord shall have the locks changed, or may give the tenant permission to change the locks, within 48 hours after receiving a request and certified copy under par. (a) [proof of potential for physical harm]. The tenant shall be responsible for the cost of changing the locks. If the landlord gives the tenant permission to change the locks, within a reasonable time after any lock has been changed the tenant shall provide the landlord with a key for the changed lock.”
The entirety of section 134 complies with the following analysis: “Wisconsin Adm. Code sec. Ag 134.06 was adopted pursuant to sec. 100.20. Therefore, if a court determines that a landlord has violated Wis. Adm. Code sec. Ag 134.06, it is required under the plain unambiguous language of sec. 100.20(5), Stats., to award double damages and attorney fees.”
“If the premises become untenantable because of damage by fire, water, or other casualty [including landlord’s pervasive interference with possession; seeLedvina v. Puksich, 687 N.W.2d 548 (Wis. Ct. App. 2004)] … the tenant may remove from the premises unless the landlord… [promptly] eliminate[s] the health hazard or the substantial violation … [or] if the inconvenience to the tenant by reason of the nature and period of repair, rebuilding, or elimination would impose undue hardship on the tenant. … [If] the condition … substantially affects the use and occupancy of the premises, rent abates … [but may not] be withheld in full, if the tenant remains in possession. If the tenant justifiably moves out under this subsection, the tenant is not liable for rent after the premises become untenantable … This subsection is inapplicable if the damage or condition is caused by negligence or improper use by the tenant.” Wis. Stat. § 704.07(4) (2022)
“Any act of the landlord or of anyone who acts under authority or legal right given to him by the landlord which so disturbs the tenant’s enjoyment of the premises or so interferes with his possession of the premises as to render them unfit for occupancy for the purposes for which they are leased, is an eviction, and whenever it takes place, the tenant is released from the obligation under the lease to pay rent accruing thereafter.”