Tenant Law in Wisconsin

In Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, it's not easy to be a tenant or a landlord, and relations between those parties can sometimes get testy.

Landlords and tenants have various rights and responsibilities. What follows is a partial list of the rights that landlords and tenants have, and the corresponding duties of the other party.

Landlord's Rights in Pleasant Prairie, WI

Most obviously, landlords have a right to collect rent from their tenants. When a tenant agrees to pay a landlord a specific amount of money for the right to occupy the landlord's property, a contract is formed. Tenants have to hold up their end of the deal.

They additionally have a right to compensation for any damage that a tenant causes, beyond ordinary wear and tear. Landlords are free to bill the tenants for repairs to damage they caused, and deduct the cost from the security deposit.

Tenant's Rights in Pleasant Prairie, WI

The most basic right of a tenant is the right to a living space that's fit for human habitation. This is, after all, what they're paying the landlord to provide. Landlords in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin are under a legal duty to make sure that their apartments are habitable. There are several factors that are considered in determining if an unit is habitable or not, but, generally, an unit will not be deemed habitable if it lacks any of the following: running water, electricity, heat, and protection from the elements (such as proper insulation, and windows that close).

Tenants also have a right to ensure that the common areas of their apartment building are reasonably safe. Landlords are required to make sure that the common areas of their buildings meet Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin's building codes, and that there are no conditions that create unnecessary safety hazards. They are required to make, at their own expense, the proper repairs.

In the United States, and most likely under the statutes of Wisconsin, it is unlawful for renters or sellers of real estate to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, color, or religion. Doing so can subject a landlord to harsh civil penalties. Additionally, they cannot discriminate based on physical disabilities, either. Tenants with physical disabilities, who are otherwise qualified to rent an apartment (they are able to pay, have good credit, etc.) are entitled to make reasonable modifications to the apartment to make it more accessible to them, and the landlord generally can't bar a tenant from doing this, as long as the modifications are not too extensive, and are reversible. The landlord can, however, require the tenant to remove the modifications, at the tenant's expense, when they move out.

Finally, the laws of most states protect tenants from unfair eviction. In general, as long as a tenant is paying rent on time, and is not damaging the unit, they cannot be evicted before the term of the lease expires, unless there is a very good reason to do so (such as excessive noise caused by the tenant, or illegal activities in the apartment).

Can a Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Help?

Landlords and tenants typically prefer to avoid getting into fights with one another, for evident reasons. A harmonious relationship is profitable for everyone involved. To that end, the advice of a good Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin landlord/tenant attorney can help defuse arguments before they become too serious.