When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, it’s illegal for landlords to retaliate byevicting, canceling an automatic lease renewal,reducing utility services,or any other act that’sconstructively evictinga tenant who has taken one of the following protected actions:
Reporting or suing over a code violation.
Participating in a tenant organization.
Pursuing rights under state or local law.
What Can Tenants Do in Response in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin tenants can respond to landlord retaliation bysuing for double the economic damagecaused. They might alsoseek an injunction.If the tenant wins, he gets to recover reasonable court costs and attorney fees. The state of Wisconsin might also prosecute the landlord for unfair trade practices.
“No landlord shall terminate a tenancy or give notice preventing the automatic renewal of a lease, or constructively evict a tenant by any means including the termination or substantial reduction of heat, water or electricity to the dwelling unit, in retaliation against a tenant because the tenant has: (a) Reported a violation of this chapter or a building or housing code to any governmental authority, or filed suit alleging such violation; or (b) Joined or attempted to organize a tenant’s union or association; or (c) Asserted, or attempted to assert any right specifically accorded to tenants under state or local law.”
“Any person suffering pecuniary loss because of a violation by any other person of s. 100.70 or any order issued under this section may sue for damages therefor in any court of competent jurisdiction and shall recover twice the amount of such pecuniary loss, together with costs, including a reasonable attorney fee.”
“The department may commence an action in circuit court in the name of the state to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction the violation of s. 100.70 or any order issued under this section. The court may in its discretion, prior to entry of final judgment make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to restore to any person any pecuniary loss suffered because of the acts or practices involved in the action, provided proof thereof is submitted to the satisfaction of the court.”