(1) Advertising or Rental of Condemned Premises. No landlord may rent or advertise for rent any premises which have been placarded and condemned for human habitation, or on which a notice of intent to placard and condemn, or an order to raze, or to rehabilitate or raze, or any similar order has been received under state or local laws or ordinances, until and unless all repairs required to bring the property into compliance with the laws or ordinances have been completed.
(2) Automatic Lease Renewal Without Notice. No landlord shall enforce, or attempt to enforce, an automatic renewal or extension provision in any lease unless, as provided under Sec. 704.15, Wis. Stats., the tenant was given separate written notice of the pending automatic renewal or extension at least fifteen (15) days, but no more than thirty (30) days before its stated effective date. (Still in 704)
(3) Confiscation of Personal Property. No landlord may seize or hold a tenant’s personal property, or prevent the tenant from taking possession of the tenant’s personal property, except as authorized under Secs. 704.05(5) and 779.43, Wis. Stats., or a written lien agreement between the landlord and the tenant. A lien agreement, if any, shall be executed in writing at the time of the initial rental agreement. The landlord shall include the lien agreement in a separate written document entitled “NON-STANDARD RENTAL PROVISIONS” which the landlord provides to the tenant. The landlord shall specifically identify and discuss the lien agreement with the tenant before the tenant enters into any rental agreement with the landlord. The lien agreement is not effective unless signed or initialed by the tenant. Any proceeds from the disposition of personal property that, together with a security deposit, exceed one month’s rent shall be due the tenant. Am. by Ord. 12,533, 2-18-00
(4) Retaliatory Conduct.
(a) Except as provided in sub. (b), no landlord shall terminate a tenancy or give notice preventing the automatic renewal of a lease, or refuse to renew a lease, or constructively evict a tenant by means of the termination or substantial reduction of heat, water or electricity to the dwelling unit, or report the tenant to law enforcement authorities as having unlawfully entered or immigrated into the United States regardless of the validity of such a report, or threaten any of the preceding, in retaliation against a tenant if there is a preponderance of evidence that the action or inaction would not occur but for the landlord’s retaliation against the tenant for doing any of the following:
1. Reporting a violation of this chapter or a building or housing code to any governmental authority, or filing suit alleging such violation; or
2. Joining or attempting to organize a tenant’s union or association or a neighborhood watch group or a neighborhood association; or
3. Asserting, or attempting to assert any right specifically accorded to tenants under state or local law.
(b) Notwithstanding sub. (a), a landlord may bring an action for possession of the premises if the tenant has not paid rent other than a rent increase prohibited by sub. (a). (Am. by Ord. 13,711, 10-26-04; ORD-07-00143, 10-18-07)
(5) Self-Help Eviction. No landlord may exclude, forcibly evict, or constructively evict a tenant from a dwelling unit other than by an eviction procedure specified under Chapter 799, Wis. Stats. (Cr. by Ord. 12,533, 2-18-00)
(6) Failure to Deliver Possession. No landlord shall fail to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant at the time agreed upon in the rental agreement, except where the landlord is unable to deliver possession because of circumstances beyond the landlord’s control. (Renumbered from 32.12(5) by Ord. 12,533, 2-18-00)
(7) Minimum Income Requirements.
(a) No landlord may deny an application for housing based solely on a minimum income requirement or minimum income-to-rent ratio or other financial criterion of a similar nature as part of a prospective tenant screening process if other reliable, demonstrable evidence of an applicant’s actual ability to pay the rental amount exists and is provided by the applicant.
“Evidence of actual ability to pay the rental amount” shall mean demonstrated ability to pay both (i) a comparable income-to-rent ratio and (ii) a comparable rent amount over the past twenty-four months with income from any lawful source or combination of lawful sources. A landlord may consider increases in the applicant’s expenses and debts compared to the prior twenty-four month period when calculating the evidence of the actual ability to pay the rental amount. “Reliable demonstrable evidence” shall include but not be limited to: references from landlords and employers or written documentation reasonably necessary to verify prior rent payment history and income, such as a lease, cancelled checks or receipts; certificates, vouchers, or other proof of governmental assistance; wage statements; pay stubs or proof of other lawful sources of income; or tax returns. “Comparable” shall mean equal to or greater than.
(b) No landlord may require any prospective tenant to produce or disclose their Social Security Number in relation to an application for housing or in relation to the execution of a lease, unless such disclosure is mandated by state or federal law. An applicant's refusal to provide a Social Security Number to a landlord shall not be a basis upon which said landlord may deny housing to such an applicant unless such disclosure is mandated by state or federal law. Every application for housing which requests the production or disclosure of an applicant's Social Security Number shall notify the applicant of the specific state or federal statute which mandates such disclosure or shall notify the applicant that such disclosure is voluntary and that the landlord may not deny the applicant housing on the basis of the applicant's decision to withhold their Social Security Number. Cr. by Ord. 13,711, 10-26-04
(c) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a landlord from requesting supplementary documentation of income if required to do so by law or as a condition of eligibility under any local, state or federal government program or from voluntarily considering other evidence of actual ability to pay submitted by an applicant in the event reliable demonstrable evidence as defined above does not exist.
(d) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a landlord from requiring a co-signer or guarantor for a rental agreement, where the applicant does not meet the minimum income requirement or minimum income-to-rent ratio and some or all of the rent will be paid by a private individual on the applicant’s behalf.
(e) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a landlord from denying an application based solely on an applicant’s participation in, or the requirements of, the federal Section 8 program.
NOTE: Section 8 is still a protected class under chapter 39.
(f) In addition to the penalties provided in this chapter, an applicant who is denied housing based on a minimum income requirement or minimum income-to-rent ratio may sue for damages therefor in a court of competent jurisdiction and shall recover twice the amount of any pecuniary loss, together with costs including reasonable attorney’s fees.
(g) Upon receipt of an application for housing or an earnest money deposit, the landlord shall disclose in writing to the applicant any use of a minimum income requirement or minimum income-to-rent ratio and the reliable demonstrable evidence acceptable to landlord as part of a prospective tenant screening process.
(h) Upon denial of an application for housing that is based solely on a minimum income requirement or minimum income-to-rent ratio, the landlord shall furnish in writing to the applicant a notice of the reason or reasons for the denial. Reasons for denial shall be provided to the applicant by the end of the third business day after the landlord receives the application or earnest money deposit, or by a later date to which the applicant agrees in writing. The later date may not be more than 21 calendar days after the landlord receives the earnest money deposit. The notice of reasons for denial shall inform the applicant that the application will receive another consideration if there is an available unit and if the applicant furnishes to the landlord evidence of actual ability to pay the rental amount. Notice of denial shall also include information regarding the type of information the landlord will find acceptable in order to reconsider the applicant.
Notwithstanding the above, nothing in this subsection shall require a landlord to hold the apartment for an applicant who has initially been denied based on a minimum income requirement or minimum income-to-rent ratio.
(i) This ordinance shall become effective 45 days from the date of its adoption by the Common Council.
(j) (Repealed by Ord. 12,772, 3-13-01) Sec. 32.12 Cr. by Ord. 7542, 10-22-81; Am. by Ord. 12,473, 9-23-99; Sec. 32.12(7) renumbered from Sec. 32.12(6) by Ord. 12,533, 2-18-00)
(8) Showing Premises for Rental Purposes. No landlord may enter leased premises for the purpose of showing the premises to prospective tenants until one-fourth (1/4) of the lease period has passed. This provision does not apply to:
(a) entry for the purpose of subletting or if a lease period is less than nine (9) months; or
(b) if a summons and complaint for eviction has been filed.
(c) such dates and times agreed to in writing by the landlord and tenant, when the tenant has signed a notice of non renewal. Cr. by Ord 13,702, 9-29-04; Cr. by Ord. 12,709, 11-9-00; Am. by Ord 13,702, 9-29-04
(9) Landlord and Tenant shall enter into a Non Standard Rental Provision, in the manner prescribed in Sec. 32.07(14)(f), Madison General Ordinances, that provides that Landlord will not enter into an agreement to rent the leased premises to another tenant for the subsequent lease period until after the date specified in the Non Standard Rental Provision. This provision does not apply if a lease period is less than nine (9) months Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a landlord from mitigating their damages after an eviction or a lease termination.
(a) If Landlord and Tenant fail to enter into a Non Standard Rental Provision regarding showing premises for rental purposes, then it is presumed that the parties to the lease intend that the Landlord will not rent the leased premises to another tenant for a subsequent lease period until after one fourth (1/4) of the lease period has passed.
(Cr. by Ord. 12,709, 11-9-00; Am. by Ord. 13,702, 9-29-04)
(10) Threats of Prohibited Practices. No landlord shall threaten to engage in, or attempt to engage in, any practice that violates Sections 32.12(3), 32.12(4) or 32.12(5) of the Madison General Ordinances. (Cr. by Ord. 12,817, 5-18-01)
(11) Late Rent Fees and Penalties. No landlord may charge a late rent fee or late rent penalty to a tenant, except as specifically provided under the rental agreement. A late rent fee or late rent penalty shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the periodic rental payment. Before charging a late rent fee or late rent penalty to a tenant, a landlord shall apply all rent payments received from that tenant to offset the amount of rent owed by a tenant. No landlord may charge any tenant a fee or penalty for nonpayment of a late rent fee or late rent penalty. If a landlord offers a tenant a rent discount or reduction in rent for the advance or timely payment of rent, then the landlord may not also charge a late rent fee or late rent penalty. Such a rent discount or reduction shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the periodic rental payment. (Cr. by Ord. 12,533, 2-18-00; Renumbered by 0Ord. 12,709, 11-9-00; Ord. 13,175, 11-5-02)
(12) No landlord may do any of the following for the purpose of inducing any person to enter into a rental agreement:
(a) Misrepresent the location, characteristics or equivalency of dwelling units owned or offered by the landlord.
(b) Misrepresent the amount of rent or non-rent charges to be paid by the tenant.
(c) Fail to disclose, in connection with any representation of rent amount, the existence of any non-rent charges which will increase the total amount payable by the tenant during tenancy.
(d) Misrepresent to any person, as part of a plan or scheme to rent a dwelling unit to that person, that the person is being considered as a prospective tenant for a different dwelling unit. Renumbered by Ord. 12,709, 11-9-00
(13) City Financial Assistance.
(a) Refusal to Make Available. It shall be unlawful for any person receiving City financial assistance for the development, redevelopment or rehabilitation of a housing project to refuse to rent or lease, refuse to negotiate for the lease or rental, or otherwise make unavailable, deny or withhold such housing solely because the applicant for housing is a direct recipient of federal, state or local government housing subsidies. Recipients of City financial assistance shall comply with this subdivision for a minimum of the term of assistance or longer, as negotiated. This provision shall apply only to the specific project receiving City financial assistance.
(b) Effective Date. This provision shall apply to projects receiving new City financial assistance on or after December 1, 2002.Cr. by Ord. 13,171, 10-29-02
(14) Rent In Place. It shall be unlawful for a landlord to: terminate the tenancy of a tenant, prior to the last day of tenancy under the existing rental agreement, based solely upon the tenant’s participation in, or the requirements of the federal Section 8 program, when the tenant has received a voucher for the federal Section 8 program from the CDA; or refuse to accept rent payments in the form of a federal Section 8 voucher when the tenant has received said voucher after the approval of the rental application.
(a) Amendments and Extension of Lease. Any amendments to the rental agreement, or any rental agreement, which may be required by the tenant’s participation in the federal Section 8 program shall not extend the term of the tenancy beyond the last day of the rental agreement, unless the tenant and landlord agree to such an extension.
(b) Referral to City Attorney. A refusal by a landlord to participate in the Section 8 Program when a tenant has received a voucher for it from the CDA prior to the last day of tenancy under the existing rental agreement may be reported to the CDA, who shall refer the refusal to the City Attorney. A landlord found to have wrongly denied tenancy under the Section 8 program may be prosecuted by the City Attorney’s office and, upon conviction, shall be subject to the penalties under Sec. 32.12(16) of these ordinances.
(c) Effective Date. This Subsection shall take effect on November 1, 2002. Cr. by Ord. 13,171, 10-29-02; Am. by ORD-06-00052, 5-4-06
(15) No landlord may refuse to provide an application form or deny an application for housing based solely on the status of a tenant’s application for a Section 8 voucher or that a tenant is on a waiting list to receive a Section 8 voucher. A refusal by a landlord to provide an application form or deny an application for housing based solely on the status of a tenant’s application for a Section 8 voucher or that a tenant is on a waiting list to receive a Section 8 voucher may be reported to the CDA who shall refer the refusal to the City Attorney. A landlord found to have wrongly denied tenancy under the Section 8 program may be prosecuted by the City Attorney’s office and, upon conviction, shall be subject to the penalties under Sec. 32.12(17) of these ordinances.
(a) Participation Limited. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require a landlord to participate in the federal Section 8 program other than to accept a federal Section 8 voucher from a tenant pursuant to Secs. 32.12(13) and (14), Madison General Ordinances.
(b) Effective Date. This Subsection shall take effect on November 1, 2002. Cr. by Ord. 13,171, 10-29-02; Am. by ORD-06-00052, 5-4-06
(a) By City. Any person who violates any provisions contained in Subsections 32.12 (13), (14) or (15) of these ordinances, or fails to comply with any of the several requirements, shall upon conviction thereof forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $3,000 for the first conviction within three (3) years; not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000 for a second conviction within three (3) years; and not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 for a third or subsequent conviction within three (3) years.
(b) By Tenant. In addition to the forfeitures provided above, any tenant subjected to a landlord’s unlawful conduct prohibited in Subsections 32.12(13), (14) or (15), above, shall be entitled to initiate a separate cause of action and shall be entitled to receive up to triple his/her actual damages plus reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Cr. by Ord. 13,171, 10-29-02
(17) Severability. The provisions of any part of this ordinance are severable. If any provision or subsection hereof or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the other provisions, subsections and applications of such ordinance to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. It is declared to be the intent of this ordinance that the same would have been adopted had such invalid provisions, if any, not been included herein. Cr. by ORD-07-00143, 10-18-07
32.13 REPAIRS, UNTENANTABILITY.
(1) Application of Section. This section applies to any tenancy if there is no contrary provision in writing signed by both parties. Nothing in this section is intended to affect rights and duties arising under other provisions of the Statutes.
(2) Duty of Landlord.
(a) Unless the repair was made necessary by the negligence or improper use of the premises by the tenant, the landlord is under duty to:
1. Keep in reasonable state of repair portions of the premises over which he maintains control;
2. Keep in a reasonable state of repair equipment under his control necessary to supply services which he has expressly or impliedly agreed to furnish to the tenant, such as heat, water, elevator or air-conditioning;
3. Make necessary structural repairs;
4. Repair or replace plumbing, electrical wiring, machinery or equipment furnished with the premises and no longer in reasonable working condition, except as provided in Sec. 32.13(3)(b).
(b) If the premises are part of a building, other parts of which are occupied by one or more other tenants, negligence or improper use by one tenant does not relieve the landlord from his duty as to the other tenants to make repairs as provided in Subdivision (a) above.
(c) If the premises are damaged by fire, water or other casualty, not the result of the negligence or intentional act of the landlord, this subsection is inapplicable and either Sec. 32.13(3) or (4) governs.
(3) Duty of Tenant.
(a) If the premises are damaged by the negligence or improper use of the premises by the tenant, the tenant must repair the damage and restore the appearance of the premises by redecorating. However, the landlord may elect to undertake the repair or redecoration, and in such case the tenant must reimburse the landlord for the reasonable cost thereof; the cost to the landlord is presumed reasonable unless proved otherwise by the tenant.
(b) The tenant is also under a duty to keep plumbing, electrical wiring, machinery and equipment furnished with the premises in reasonable working order if repair can be made at cost which is minor in relation to the rent.
(4) Untenantability Because of Damage by Fire, Water or Other Casualty, or Hazard to Health. If the premise becomes untenantable because of damage by fire, water or other casualty or because of any condition hazardous to health, the tenant may remove from the premises unless the landlord proceeds promptly to repair or rebuild or eliminate the health hazard; or the tenant may remove if the inconvenience to the tenant by reason of the nature and period of repair, rebuilding or elimination would impose undue hardship on him. If the landlord proceeds to repair or rebuild the premises or eliminate the hazard to health, and the tenant remains in possession, rent abates to the extent the tenant is deprived of the full normal use of the premises. If the tenant justifiably moves out under this subsection, the tenant is not liable for rent after the premises become untenantable and the landlord must repay any rent paid in advance apportioned to the period after the premises become untenantable. This subsection is inapplicable if the damage or condition is caused by negligence or improper use by the tenant. Sec. 32.13 Cr. by Ord. 7542, 10-22-81
(1) Any violation of any section of Chapter 32 of the Madison General Ordinances for which there is not provided a specific penalty shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than sixty dollars ($60) nor more than six hundred dollars ($600) upon conviction. Each day of violation shall be construed as a separate offense.
(2) The civil remedies provided to landlords and tenants in this chapter are not intended to preclude prosecution of an individual for violating any of the provisions of this chapter and the imposition of a forfeiture by the court upon conviction. Sec. 32.14 Am. by Ord. 10,812, Adopted 1-18-94; Ord. 12,817, 5-18-01; Ord. 12,881, 8-24-01
32.15 RETALIATION PROHIBITED.
(1) No person or tenant shall be retaliated against for complaining of violations of Secs. 32.05, 32.07, 32.11, 32.12 or 32.13 of the Madison General Ordinances or for complying with those sections.
(2) Retaliation shall include, but not be limited to, eviction, inconsistent rent payment increases, failure to perform promised repairs, refusal to renew a lease or other harassment of the tenant committed by the landlord or his or her agents, or threatening any of the preceding. Any such acts shall be presumed to be retaliatory if committed within six months after the tenant has complained to any state or local investigatory or enforcement agency of violations of Secs. 32.05, 32.07, 32.11, 32.12 or 32.13 of the Madison General Ordinances or their statutory or administrative code equivalents. In order to overcome the presumption that such acts are retaliatory, the landlord must show by a preponderance of evidence that such acts were based upon good cause, as that term is used in this Chapter. Am. by Ord. 10,452, Adopted 5-19-92; ORD-07-00143, 10-18-07
(3) Any retaliatory act is hereby declared null and void and, in addition to any other penalty provided in this Chapter, is subject to a forfeiture of not less than one hundred fifty dollars ($150) nor more than nine hundred dollars ($900) for each such act. (Am. by Ord. 12,881, 8-24-01)
(4) Enforcement by Tenant. Any person suffering damages because of a violation by any other person of Section 32.15, or Section 32.12(4), may sue for damages therefor in any court of competent jurisdiction and shall recover twice the amount of such damages, together with costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees. (Cr. by ORD-07-000143, 10-18-07)
(5) Severability. The provisions of any part of this ordinance are severable. If any provision or subsection hereof or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the other provisions, subsections and applications of such ordinance to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby. It is declared to be the intent of this ordinance that the same would have been adopted had such invalid provisions, if any, not been included herein. Cr. by ORD-07-000143, 10-18-07; Section 32.15(1)-(3) Cr. by Ord. 8544, 3-18-85
32.16 SELF-SERVICE STORAGE FACILITIES.
For the purposes of this subsection, the definitions found in Wis. Stat. § 704.90(1) shall apply. No operator of a self-storage facility may charge fees to a lessee, except as specifically provided under the rental agreement. A late fee shall not exceed the greater of fifteen percent (15%) of the periodic rent payment or ten dollars ($10.00) for the first late rent payment in any twelve month period and shall not exceed the greater of fifteen percent (15%) of the periodic rent payment or twenty dollars ($20.00) for the second or subsequent late rent payment in any twelve month period. A late fee may not be imposed until 3 calendar days after the unpaid rent is due. When a discount in the amount of rent due is given for payment prior to or on the due date provided in the rental agreement, such discount shall be considered a late fee. Late fees do not include expenses necessary to the preservation, removal, storage, preparation for sale and sale of the personal property, as provided in Sec. 704.90(3), Wis. Stats. Cr. by Ord. 13,415, 10-4-03
32.17 SELF HELP REPAIRS.
(1) Eligibility. As an addition to the rent abatement procedures contained in Sec. 32.04, MGO, if a landlord of a rental premises fails to comply with an order of the Building Inspection Division of the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development by the original or extended due date and after the issuance of the letter of eligibility for rent abatement, unless such due date is found to be unreasonable upon appeal to the Board of Building Code, Fire Code, conveyance Code and Licensing Appeals pursuant to Sec. 29.18(3) of the Madison General Ordinances, the tenant may elect to cause repairs to be made to correct the violations contained in the order, in accordance with this Sec. 32.17, MGO and deduct the cost of those repairs from their rent, pursuant to this section. If said order of the Building Inspection Division contains more than one item that has not been completed by said due date, the tenant may elect to seek rent abatement for one or more items and self help repairs. (Am. by ORD-09-00019, 3-14-09)
(2) Notice. Prior to commencing self help repairs, the tenant shall send a notice to the landlord, by first class mail, return receipt requested, at the address provided by the landlord to the tenant pursuant to Sec. 32.08(1)(b), or if the premises are an owner occupied structure containing no more than four (4) dwelling units, to the owner’s residence. The Notice shall contain substantially the following information:
(a) The tenant’s statement that the tenant intends to make self help repairs to the property.
(b) The name of the tenant.
(c) A list of the work to be performed. The list shall contain only work necessary to correct the deficiencies found by the Building Inspection Division that were not completed by the original due date.
(d) The name of the persons who will perform the work, including the name of any contractors, subcontractors or other persons hired by the tenant.
(e) The date that work will be commenced. Such date shall not be less than ten (10) days after the date of mailing the notice.
(f) If the tenant intends to perform part or all of the work, a good faith estimate of the number of hours needed to complete the work by the tenant. This notice requirement shall be construed liberally in favor of the person giving notice. If the landlord has actual notice that the tenant intends to use this self help procedure to correct the items in the Order of the Building Inspection Division, the tenant shall not be barred from deducting the cost of the self help repair from their rent because of a deficiency in meeting this notice requirement.
(3) Commencement of Work.
(a) No work may be commenced by the tenant until ten (10) calendar days after the tenant has mailed, first class return receipt requested, the notice provided in Sub. (2). The notice provided in Sub. (2) may not be mailed more than ten (10) calendar days before the original due date provided in the original order of the Building Inspection Division. After ten (10) calendar days, if the landlord has not either: commenced the work contained in the order of the Building Inspection Division using their own employees and contractors, or agreed to do the work by assuming direct responsibility for supervising and compensating the contractors retained by the tenant under the schedule previously negotiated by the tenant and the contractor, then the tenant may commence the work. If the landlord agrees to commence the work to correct the deficiencies, the tenant shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate the work and to permit access to the dwelling unit. If the landlord agrees to commence the work to correct the deficiencies, but substantial compliance is not obtained within 30 days of commencing the work, the tenant shall again be eligible for the rent abatement procedures contained in Sec. 32.04, MGO, or the tenant may immediately proceed to complete the work and may deduct payments made by the tenant for work in the manner provided herein.
(b) The ten (10) day limit in this paragraph does not apply if the Building Inspection Division has issued orders for work that relates to health and safety that must be completed in less than ten (10) days. In such cases, the tenant may commence work
within twenty-four (24) hours of giving notice.
(4) Scope of Work to be Deducted. No rent deduction may be made by the tenant for payment for any repairs or work other than work done to correct the code violations outlined in the order of the Building Inspection Division that were not corrected by the original due date.
(5) Rent Deduction. At the time rent is due, the tenant shall submit copies of all invoices for the work to the landlord along with an itemized statement indicating the actual cost of repairs paid for by the tenant and lien waivers from all contractors for work done. The tenant may deduct the entire amount of those repairs for which the tenant has a payment receipt and a lien waiver from contractors and suppliers, from the total amount of rent due. If the actual amount of the receipt for the work or materials exceeds one periodic rent payment, the excess shall be applied to future rents due until the entire amount paid by the tenant for the work or materials has been deducted from rent. In the event that tenants or co-tenants who pay separate rent have jointly completed the work, they may each deduct a pro rata share of the cost of the repairs from their respective rent payments.
If the owner files a letter of objection (copied to the tenant) with the Building Inspection Division within ten (10) days of receiving notice from the tenant of intent to make repairs under this ordinance, the tenant cannot reduce the rent under the provisions of this ordinance until determined eligible for rent abatement by a Hearing Examiner, pursuant to Sec. 32.04, MGO. For those items determined to be eligible for rent abatement, the landlord will reimburse the tenant one hundred and twenty-five percent (125%) of the costs for repairs as determined by the Hearing Examiner.
(6) Who May Perform Work; Permits Required. When State law, the Wisconsin Administrative Code, Madison General Ordinances or other applicable regulations require that a licensed professional or state-credentialed dwelling contractor perform the work to correct the deficiencies, including architectural, design, surveying, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning work, no one other than a properly licensed professional or state-credentialed dwelling contractor shall perform such work. The tenant shall not perform any work themselves when a licensed professional or state-credentialed dwelling contractor is required to perform the work, nor shall the tenant permit such work to be done by anyone other than a properly licensed professional or state-credentialed dwelling contractor qualified to do the work. A tenant may deduct the cost of materials used by the tenant if the tenant chooses to complete the work themselves. A tenant may deduct the cost of their labor from rent at the hourly rate provide in Sec. 4.20(3), MGO., not to exceed the number of hours stated in the estimate provided pursuant to Sec. 32.17(2)(f), MGO. All work to be completed must be done in a workmanlike manner and must comply with all applicable state and City codes and regulations as provided in the Madison General Ordinances. No work may be commenced by the tenant until all applicable permits and regulatory approvals are obtained. If a permits or approvals are required to commence the work, the tenant shall obtain all applicable permits and approvals and may deduct the fees from the rent, in the manner specified in sub (5).
(7) Lien Waivers. Any contractor shall forward any lien waivers directly to the tenant who contracted the work. The tenant shall forward all lien waivers from contractors to the landlord along with the receipts deducted from the rent.
(8) Eviction or Retaliation Prohibited. No person or tenant who complies with this section shall be evicted for nonpayment of rent because said person or tenant has elected to act under this section 32.17 and has deducted the cost of work from rental payments. No person or tenant shall be evicted or retaliated against for giving either verbal or written notice to the landlord that they intend to use the self help procedures under this section 32.17. It shall be presumed that any attempt to terminate the tenancy of such tenant or to evict such tenant or to raise such tenant’s rental payments or to refuse to renew the tenant's lease or to otherwise harass or retaliate against such tenant during the period commencing when verbal or written notice is first given by the tenant to the landlord that the tenant intends to use these self help procedures, until six months after certification by the Building Inspection Division of the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development of the City of Madison that all violations have been corrected, is retaliation. Such attempt is hereby declared null and void and subject to a forfeiture of not less than $150 and not more than $900 for each attempt. It is further provided that in order to overcome such presumption, the landlord must show by a preponderance of the evidence that such acts by the landlord were based on good cause. “Good Cause” used herein means that the
landlord must show a good reason for his or her action, other than one related to or caused by the operation of this ordinance, including but not limited to normal uniform rental increases due to utility increases or other increased costs to the landlord, or for other bona fide, nondiscriminatory business reason.
(9) Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect one hundred and twenty (120) days after adoption. Sec. 32.17 Am. by ORD-08-000109, 10-7-08