704.11 704.11 Lien of landlord. Except as provided in ss. 704.05 (5), 704.90 and 779.43 or by express agreement of the parties, the landlord has no right to a lien on the property of the tenant; the common-law right of a landlord to distrain for rent is abolished.
704.13 History History: 1993 a. 486.
704.15 History History: 1993 a. 486.
704.16(1)(a) (a) The tenant or a child of the tenant faces an imminent threat of serious physical harm from another person if the tenant remains on the premises.
704.16(1)(b)2. 2. An injunction order under s. 813.122 protecting a child of the tenant from the person.
704.16(1)(b)5. 5. A criminal complaint alleging that the person sexually assaulted the tenant or a child of the tenant under s. 940.225, 948.02, or 948.025.
704.16(1)(b)7. 7. A criminal complaint that was filed against the person as a result of the person being arrested for committing a domestic abuse offense against the tenant under s. 968.075.
704.16(2) (2)Not liable for rent. If a residential tenant removes from the premises because of a threat of serious physical harm to the tenant or to a child of the tenant from another person and provides the landlord with a certified copy specified under sub. (1) and with notice that complies with s. 704.21, the tenant shall not be liable for any rent after the end of the month following the month in which he or she provides the notice or removes from the premises, whichever is later. The tenant's liability for rent under this subsection is subject to the landlord's duty to mitigate damages as provided in s. 704.29 (2).
704.16(3)(b)2. 2. The offending tenant is the named offender in any of the following:
704.16(3)(b)2.b. b. An injunction order under s. 813.122 protecting the child of the other tenant from the offending tenant.
704.16(3)(b)2.g. g. A criminal complaint that was filed against the offending tenant as a result of the offending tenant being arrested for committing a domestic abuse offense against the other tenant under s. 968.075.
704.16(4)(a)(a) Subject to pars. (b) and (c), regardless of whether sub. (1) applies, at the request of a residential tenant who provides the landlord with a certified copy of a document specified in sub. (1) (b) 1. to 7., a landlord shall change the locks to the tenant's premises.
704.16(4)(b) (b) A landlord shall have the locks changed, or may give the tenant permission to change the locks, within 48 hours after receiving a request and certified copy under par. (a). The tenant shall be responsible for the cost of changing the locks. If the landlord gives the tenant permission to change the locks, within a reasonable time after any lock has been changed the tenant shall provide the landlord with a key for the changed lock.
704.16(4)(c)1.1. If the person who is the subject of the document provided to the landlord under par. (a) is also a tenant of the specific premises for which the locks are requested to be changed, the landlord is not required to change the locks under this subsection unless the document provided by the tenant requesting that the locks be changed is any of the following:
704.16(4)(c)1.a. a. A document specified in sub. (1) (b) 1., 2., or 3. that directs the tenant who is the subject of the document to avoid the residence of the tenant requesting that the locks be changed.
704.16(4)(d) (d) A landlord is not liable for civil damages for any action taken to comply with this subsection.
704.165 704.165 Termination of tenancy at death of tenant.
704.165(1) (1)
704.165(1)(a)2. 2. The expiration of the term of the rental agreement.
704.165(1)(b) (b) Notwithstanding s. 704.19, in the case of the death of a residential periodic tenant or tenant at will, the tenancy is terminated 60 days after the landlord receives notice, is advised, or otherwise becomes aware of the tenant's death.
704.165(2) (2) The deceased tenant or his or her estate is not liable for any rent after the termination of his or her tenancy. Any liability of the deceased tenant or his or her estate for rent under this subsection is subject to the landlord's duty to mitigate damages as provided in s. 704.29 (2).
704.165 History History: 2009 a. 323.
704.17(1)(a)(a) If a month-to-month tenant or a week-to-week tenant fails to pay rent when due, the tenant's tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to pay rent or vacate on or before a date at least 5 days after the giving of the notice and if the tenant fails to pay accordingly. A month-to-month tenancy is terminated if the landlord, while the tenant is in default in payment of rent, gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to vacate on or before a date at least 14 days after the giving of the notice.
704.17(3) (3)Lease for more than one year.
704.17(3)(a)(a) If a tenant under a lease for more than one year fails to pay rent when due, or commits waste, or breaches any other covenant or condition of the tenant's lease, the tenancy is terminated if the landlord gives the tenant notice requiring the tenant to pay the rent, repair the waste, or otherwise comply with the lease on or before a date at least 30 days after the giving of the notice, and if the tenant fails to comply with the notice. A tenant is deemed to be complying with the notice if promptly upon receipt of the notice the tenant takes reasonable steps to remedy the default and proceeds with reasonable diligence, or if damages are adequate protection for the landlord and the tenant makes a bona fide and reasonable offer to pay the landlord all damages for the tenant's breach; but in case of failure to pay rent, all rent due must be paid on or before the date specified in the notice.
704.17 Annotation Only a limited number of defenses may be raised in an eviction action, including defenses as to the landlord's title to the premises and whether the eviction was in retaliation for the tenant's reporting housing violations, but not including violations of federal antitrust and state franchise laws — as well as public policy defenses. Clark Oil & Refining Corp. v. Leistikow, 69 Wis. 2d 226, 230 N.W.2d 736 (1975).
704.19 704.19 Notice necessary to terminate periodic tenancies and tenancies at will.
704.19(1) (1)Scope of section. The following types of tenancies, however created, are subject to this section:
704.19(1)(a) (a) A periodic tenancy, whether a tenancy from year-to-year, from month-to-month, or for any other periodic basis according to which rent is regularly payable; and
704.19(1)(b) (b) A tenancy at will.
704.19(2) (2)Requirement of notice.
704.19(2)(a)(a) A periodic tenancy or a tenancy at will can be terminated by either the landlord or the tenant only by giving to the other party written notice complying with this section, unless any of the following conditions is met:
704.19(2)(a)1. 1. The parties have agreed expressly upon another method of termination and the parties' agreement is established by clear and convincing proof.
704.19(4) (4)Contents of notice. Notice must be in writing, formal or informal, and substantially inform the other party to the landlord-tenant relation of the intent to terminate the tenancy and the date of termination. A notice is not invalid because of errors in the notice which do not mislead, including omission of the name of one of several landlords or tenants.
704.19(5) (5)Effect of inaccurate termination date in notice. If a notice provides that a periodic tenancy is to terminate on the first day of a succeeding rental period rather than the last day of a rental period, and the notice was given in sufficient time to terminate the tenancy at the end of the rental period, the notice is valid; if the notice was given by the tenant, the landlord may require the tenant to remove on the last day of the rental period, but if the notice was given by the landlord the tenant may remove on the last day specified in the notice. If a notice specified any other inaccurate termination date, because it does not allow the length of time required under sub. (3) or because it does not correspond to the end of a rental period in the case of a periodic tenancy, the notice is valid but not effective until the first date which could have been properly specified in such notice subsequent to the date specified in the notice, but the party to whom the notice is given may elect to treat the date specified in the notice as the legally effective date. If a notice by a tenant fails to specify any termination date, the notice is valid but not effective until the first date which could have been properly specified in such notice as of the date the notice is given.
704.19(7)(b) (b) The day of leaving or affixing a copy or the date of mailing, whichever is later, under s. 704.21 (1) (b) and (c).
704.19(7)(d) (d) The day of service under s. 704.21 (1) (e) and (2) (d).
704.19(8) (8)Effect of notice. If a notice is given as required by this section, the tenant is not entitled to possession or occupancy of the premises after the date of termination as specified in the notice.
704.19 History History: 1993 a. 486; 1995 a. 225; 2001 a. 103; 2007 a. 184.
704.19 Annotation A landlord cannot evict a tenant solely because the tenant has reported building code violations. Dickhut v. Norton, 45 Wis. 2d 389, 173 N.W.2d 297 (1970).
704.19 Annotation Retaliatory eviction as a defense. 54 MLR 239.
704.19 Annotation Landlords' liability for defective premises: caveat lessee, negligence, or strict liability? Love, 1975 WLR 19.
704.21(1)(b) (b) By leaving a copy with any competent person apparently in charge of the rented premises or occupying the premises or a part thereof, and by mailing a copy by regular or other mail to the tenant's last-known address;
704.21(1)(c) (c) If notice cannot be given under par. (a) or (b) with reasonable diligence, by affixing a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on the rented premises where it can be conveniently read and by mailing a copy by regular or other mail to the tenant's last-known address;
704.21(1)(e) (e) By serving the tenant as prescribed in s. 801.11 for the service of a summons.
704.21(2)(a) (a) By giving a copy of the notice personally to the landlord or to any person who has been receiving rent or managing the property as the landlord's agent, or by leaving a copy at the landlord's usual place of abode in the presence of some competent member of the landlord's family at least 14 years of age, who is informed of the contents of the notice;
704.21(4) (4)Notice to one of several parties. If there are 2 or more landlords or 2 or more cotenants of the same premises, notice given to one is deemed to be given to the others also.
704.22 704.22 Service of process in residential tenancy on nonresident party.
704.22(2) (2) Designation of an agent under sub. (1) shall be in writing and filed with the department of financial institutions.
704.22 History History: 1981 c. 300; 1995 a. 27.
704.23 704.23 Removal of tenant on termination of tenancy. If a tenant remains in possession without consent of the tenant's landlord after termination of the tenant's tenancy, the landlord may in every case proceed in any manner permitted by law to remove the tenant and recover damages for such holding over.
704.23 History History: 1993 a. 486.
704.25(2) (2)Creation of periodic tenancy by holding over.
704.25(2)(b) (b) All other leases. If premises are leased for less than a year for any use, or if leased for any period primarily for private residential purposes, and the tenant holds over after expiration of the lease, the landlord may elect to hold the tenant on a month-to-month basis; but if such lease provides for a weekly or daily rent, the landlord may hold the tenant only on the periodic basis on which rent is computed.
704.25(2)(c) (c) When election takes place. Acceptance of rent for any period after expiration of a lease or other conduct manifesting the landlord's intent to allow the tenant to remain in possession after the expiration date constitutes an election by the landlord under this section unless the landlord has already commenced proceedings to remove the tenant.
704.25(3) (3)Terms of tenancy created by holding over. A periodic tenancy arising under this section is upon the same terms and conditions as those of the original lease except that any right of the tenant to renew or extend the lease, or to purchase the premises, or any restriction on the power of the landlord to sell without first offering to sell the premises to the tenant, does not carry over to such a tenancy.
704.25(4) (4)Effect of contrary agreement. This section governs except as the parties agree otherwise either by the terms of the lease itself or by an agreement at any subsequent time.
704.25(5)(b) (b) Remove any person in possession and recover damages from the assignee or subtenant or, if the landlord has not been accepting rent directly from the assignee or subtenant, from the original tenant.
704.29 704.29 Recovery of rent and damages by landlord; mitigation.
704.29(2)(a)(a) In this subsection, "reasonable efforts" mean those steps that the landlord would have taken to rent the premises if they had been vacated in due course, provided that those steps are in accordance with local rental practice for similar properties.
704.29(4)(a) (a) Entry, with or without notice, for the purpose of inspecting, preserving, repairing, remodeling and showing the premises;
704.29(4)(b) (b) Rerenting the premises or a part thereof, with or without notice, with rent applied against the damages caused by the original tenant and in reduction of rent accruing under the original lease;
704.29(4)(c) (c) Use of the premises by the landlord until such time as rerenting at a reasonable rent is practical, not to exceed one year, if the landlord gives prompt written notice to the tenant that the landlord is using the premises pursuant to this section and that the landlord will credit the tenant with the reasonable value of the use of the premises to the landlord for such a period;
704.29(4)(d) (d) Any other act which is reasonably subject to interpretation as being in mitigation of rent or damages and which does not unequivocally demonstrate an intent to release the defaulting tenant.
704.29 Annotation Acceptance of the surrender of premises terminated the lease and deprived the landlord of the right to seek future rent. First Wisconsin Trust Co. v. L. Wiemann Co. 93 Wis. 2d 258, 286 N.W.2d 360 (1980).
704.29 Annotation Whenever a landlord does not, by word or deed, accept the surrender of leased premises following a tenant's removal, the landlord must mitigate damages by attempting to re-rent the premises. If a landlord elects to hold the tenant to the tenancy, the landlord's re-renting the premises to another cannot, standing alone, constitute an acceptance of surrender of the premises. A landlord's actions in dealing exclusively with a successor tenant, proposing a new long-term lease to the successor, accepting higher rent from the successor as called for in the proposed lease, and failing to communicate in any way to the tenant that she deemed him responsible for the remainder of the tenancy clearly evidenced an intent to accept the tenant's surrender of the premises. Vander Wielen v. Van Asten, 2005 WI App 220, 287 Wis. 2d 726, 706 N.W.2d 123, 04-1788.
704.29 Annotation A landlord has an obligation to rerent when a tenant breaches a lease. Specific performance is not a proper remedy. Chi-Mil. Corp. v. W. T. Grant Co. 422 F. Supp. 46 (1976).
704.31 704.31 Remedy on default in long terms; improvements.
704.31(1)(1) If there is a default in the conditions in any lease or a breach of the covenants thereof and such lease provides for a term of 30 years or more and requires the tenant to erect or construct improvements or buildings upon the land demised at the tenant's own cost and exceeding in value the sum of $50,000, and such improvements have been made and the landlord desires to terminate the lease and recover possession of the property described therein freed from all liens, claims or demands of such lessee, the landlord may, in case of any breach or default, commence an action against the tenant and all persons claiming under the tenant to recover the possession of the premises leased and proceed in all respects as if the action was brought under the statute to foreclose a mortgage upon real estate, except that no sale of the premises shall be ordered.
704.31(2) (2) The judgment shall determine the breach or default complained of, fix the amount due the landlord at such time, and state the several amounts to become due within one year from the entry thereof, and provide that unless the amount adjudged to be due from the tenant, with interest thereon as provided in the lease or by law, shall be paid to the landlord within one year from the entry thereof and the tenant shall, within such period, fully comply with the judgment requiring the tenant to make good any default in the conditions of the lease, that the tenant and those claiming under the tenant shall be forever barred and foreclosed of any title or interest in the premises described in the lease and that in default of payment thereof within one year from the entry of the judgment the tenant shall be personally liable for the amount thereof. During the one-year period ensuing the date of the entry of the judgment the possession of the demised premises shall remain in the tenant and the tenant shall receive the rents, issues and profits thereof; but if the tenant fails to comply with the terms of the judgment and the same is not fully satisfied, and refuses to surrender the possession of the demised premises at the expiration of said year, the landlord shall be entitled to a writ of assistance or execution to be issued and executed as provided by law.
704.31(3) (3) This section does not apply to a lease to which a local professional baseball park district created under subch. III of ch. 229, the Wisconsin Quality Home Care Authority, or the Fox River Navigational System Authority is a party.
704.35(1)(b) (b) If judgment has been entered, the date on which the redemption period expires.
704.35 Annotation Residential Tenants in Foreclosure Act: Protecting Tenants. Silverman. Wis. Law. Aug. 2009.
704.40 704.40 Remedies available when tenancy dependent upon life of another terminates.
704.40(1) (1) Any person occupying premises as tenant of the owner of a life estate or any person owning an estate for the life of another, upon cessation of the measuring life, is liable to the owner of the reversion or remainder for the reasonable rental value of the premises for any period the occupant remains in possession after termination of the life estate. Rental value as used in this section has the same meaning as rental value defined in s. 704.27.
704.40(2) (2) The owner of the reversion or remainder can remove the occupant in any lawful manner including eviction proceedings under ch. 799 as follows:
704.40(2)(b) (b) If the occupant is in possession under a lease for a term, upon termination of the lease or one year after written notice to the occupant given in the manner provided by s. 704.21 whichever occurs first, except that a farm tenancy can be terminated only at the end of a rental year.
704.40 History History: 1979 c. 32 s. 92 (16); 1993 a. 486.
704.44 704.44 Rental agreement that restricts access to certain services is void. A rental agreement is void and unenforceable if it allows a landlord in a residential tenancy to do any of the following because a tenant has contacted an entity for law enforcement services, health services, or safety services:
704.44(1) (1) Increase rent.
704.44(5) (5) Threaten to take any action under subs. (1) to (4).
704.45(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (2), a landlord in a residential tenancy may not increase rent, decrease services, bring an action for possession of the premises, refuse to renew a lease or threaten any of the foregoing, 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:
704.45(1)(b) (b) Complaining to the landlord about a violation of s. 704.07 or a local housing code applicable to the premises.
704.45(1)(c) (c) Exercising a legal right relating to residential tenancies.
704.45(3) (3) This section does not apply to complaints made about defects in the premises caused by the negligence or improper use of the tenant who is affected by the action or inaction.
704.45 History History: 1981 c. 286.
704.50 704.50 Disclosure duty; immunity for providing notice about the sex offender registry.
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