A residential lease agreement in Milwaukee is a binding document between a landlord and a tenant. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions surrounding the use of a rental property in exchange for payment.
Residential Lease Agreement Requirements in Milwaukee
Milwaukee has no city-specific residential lease agreement requirements or disclosures. As such, landlords and tenants in Milwaukee follow Wisconsin’s requirements for lease agreements.
Landlord-Tenant Rights and Regulations in Milwaukee
When it comes to landlord-tenant rights, Milwaukee landlords should be aware of the following:
Fair Housing Ordinance
In addition to state and federal law, the City of Milwaukee provides additional fair housing protections to tenants—making it illegal to discriminate against a tenant based on the following:
- Military status – past or present military service
- Genetic identity – any genetic information, such as test results
- Homelessness – includes transitional housing or a supervised temporary living facility
Rooming House License
Milwaukee City Code requires all rental units with four or more unrelated occupants to have a rooming house license. This applies to all rental properties in Milwaukee—regardless of how many bedrooms are in the unit.
Optional Lease Agreement Disclosures and Addendums in Milwaukee
While not mandatory, landlords can add specific disclosures and addendums to their leases. This helps outline the responsibilities of the tenant and can prevent future liability issues.
Due to the high crime rate in Milwaukee, it would be in the landlord’s best interest to include an addendum stating that engaging in criminal activity, including drug-related activity, is prohibited on or near the property.
Parking Rules Addendum
Since Milwaukee is primarily a driving city, landlords may want to include a parking rules addendum to clearly outline the building’s parking policy. This should include information on assigned parking spots, street parking rules, and any prohibited uses of the parking space.
Summary of Required Lease Disclosures for the State of Wisconsin
- Landlord’s Name and Address – Wisconsin leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent.
- Utility Disclosure – Wisconsin leases must disclose if they do not include water, heat, or electricity in the rent. A landlord cannot collect rent or a security deposit without this disclosure.
- Shared Utilities Agreement – Wisconsin rentals that share a utility meter for the whole building or property must disclose how utility charges are billed to individual tenants.
- Move-In Checklist – Wisconsin landlords must provide tenants with a move-in checklist. Tenants must take inventory of the property and return the sheet to the landlord within 7 days after the lease begins.
- Pre-Existing Damages Disclosure – Wisconsin landlords must provide notice to potential tenants of the right to inspect the rental property for damage.
- Notice of Domestic Abuse Protections – Wisconsin landlords must provide notice that victims of domestic abuse have special rights as tenants.
- Nonstandard Rental Provision – Wisconsin leases that agree to nonstandard rental provisions (such as the landlord having the right to enter without notice) must place these provisions in a document clearly titled “NONSTANDARD PROVISIONS” alongside the lease.
- Code Violation Disclosure – Wisconsin landlords or building managers aware of any existing code violations on the rental property must disclose these violations to the tenant.
- Lead-Based Paint – It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints.