Spring Roundup - Tenant Resource Center



Spring Roundup

The kids and I drove around Wisconsin in a Spring Break Road Trip a couple weeks ago, and it's beautiful out there! We saw sandhill cranes all over, a fox skirting the highway, and cranberry bogs getting their season started. Springtime has pizzazz here in Wisconsin, where seasons always feel full force, whether cold or warm.

We're getting a full load of springtime complaints, too, from around the state, and a lot of the concerns that clients are voicing to us are things that we've written about before, in other parts of this website. So, here's a roundup for tenants for lots of the common Spring issues.

Repairs

  • There's lots of water! Stuff broke/mildewed/molded/flooded: 
  • Bugs came out because it's Spring:
    • A landlord can only charge the tenant for an infestation that's caused by the tenant's actions or inactions, which is usually not what causes a weather-based bug migration. Wis. Stat. 704.07(3)(a) In the City of Madison, the law states that it's the landlord's job to get rid of a pest infestation in multi-unit dwellings. ("Whenever infestation exists in any residential dwelling other than a single-family dwelling, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner." MGO 27.07(2)d). Since all of this is a repair issue, we recommend following the steps on our Repair pages (write a letter before calling the building inspector): for Madison/Fitchburg and Wisconsin.
    • Write a letter to the landlord! Template here.
  • My Landlord turned off the heat, and now my house is cold:

Lease Problems

  • My Landlord says (s)he isn't renewing my lease: 
    • The amount of notice & kind of notice required to end a lease here.
    • Landlords usually don't have to give a reason for not renewing a lease! But they can't be acting out discrimination or retaliation.
  • This isn't working. I need to break my lease before the lease is over:
    • You always have a right to break your lease! Info here.
    • And here's the part that your landlord needs to understand about breaking leases: Landlord info here.
    • A lot of information on ending your lease: here.
    • The list of the things in your lease that would make it void: here.

Taxes:

  • I want to claim the Homestead Credit, but my landlord won't sign the rent certificate:
    • The landlord doesn't have to sign the rent certificate! But you can self-certify. More information here

Evictions:

  • I'm having trouble paying my rent, and my landlord gave me an eviction notice:
    • It's always a good idea to respond with a letter explaining what your plan is: Template here.
    • An explanation of the whole eviction process: here.
  • My landlord says I'm not following the lease, and gave me an eviction notice: 
    • It's always a good idea to respond with a letter explaining what your plan is: Template here.
    • An explanation of the whole eviction process: here.

Looking for Housing:

  • Apartment hunting in the Spring, with information about Spring-specific apartment hunting problems to watch out for: here.
  • Some of the basics when looking for housing: here.
  • How/Where to look for housing: here.
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