106.50(1m)(h) (h) “Discriminate" means to segregate, separate, exclude, or treat a person or class of persons unequally in a manner described in sub. (2), (2m), or (2r) because of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, lawful source of income, age, or ancestry.
106.50(1m)(i) (i) “Dwelling unit" means a structure or that part of a structure that is used or intended to be used as a home, residence or sleeping place by one person or by 2 or more persons who are maintaining a common household, to the exclusion of all others.
106.50(1m)(im) (im) “Emotional support animal” means an animal that provides emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship for an individual but that is not trained to perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.
106.50(1m)(j) (j) “Family" includes one natural person.
106.50(1m)(k) (k) “Family status" means any of the following conditions that apply to a person seeking to rent or purchase housing or to a member or prospective member of the person's household regardless of the person's marital status:
106.50(1m)(k)1. 1. A person is pregnant.
106.50(1m)(k)2. 2. A person is in the process of securing sole or joint legal custody, periods of physical placement or visitation rights of a minor child.
106.50(1m)(k)3. 3. A person's household includes one or more minor or adult relatives.
106.50(1m)(k)4. 4. A person's household includes one or more adults or minor children in his or her legal custody or physical placement or with whom he or she has visitation rights.
106.50(1m)(k)5. 5. A person's household includes one or more adults or minor children placed in his or her care under a court order, under a guardianship or with the written permission of a parent or other person having legal custody of the adult or minor child.
106.50(1m)(km) (km) “Hardship condition" means a situation under which a tenant in housing for older persons has legal custody or physical placement of a minor child or a minor child is placed in the tenant's care under a court order, under a guardianship or with the written permission of a parent or other person having legal custody of the minor child.
106.50(1m)(L) (L) “Housing" means any improved property, or any portion thereof, including a mobile home as defined in s. 101.91 (10), manufactured home, as defined in s. 101.91 (2), or condominium, that is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as a home or residence. “Housing" includes any vacant land that is offered for sale or rent for the construction or location thereon of any building, structure or portion thereof that is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as a home or residence.
106.50(1m)(m) (m) “Housing for older persons" means any of the following:
106.50(1m)(m)1. 1. Housing provided under any state or federal program that the secretary determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons, as defined in the state or federal program.
106.50(1m)(m)2. 2. Housing solely intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older.
106.50(1m)(m)3. 3. Housing primarily intended and primarily operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per dwelling unit.
106.50(1m)(mm) (mm) “Interested person" means an adult relative or friend of a member of a protected class, or an official or representative of a private agency, corporation or association concerned with the welfare of a member of a protected class.
106.50(1m)(mx) (mx) “Licensed health professional” means a physician, psychologist, social worker, or other health professional who satisfies all of the following:
106.50(1m)(mx)1. 1. He or she is licensed or certified in this state.
106.50(1m)(mx)2. 2. He or she is acting within the scope of his or her license or certification.
106.50(1m)(nm) (nm) “Member of a protected class" means a group of natural persons, or a natural person, who may be categorized because of sex, race, color, disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, or stalking, lawful source of income, age, or ancestry.
106.50(1m)(om) (om) “Political subdivision" means a city, village, town or county.
106.50(1m)(q) (q) “Relative" means a parent, grandparent, greatgrandparent, stepparent, step grandparent, brother, sister, child, stepchild, grandchild, step grandchild, greatgrandchild, first cousin, 2nd cousin, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother or half sister or any other person related by blood, marriage or adoption.
106.50(1m)(r) (r) “Rent" means to lease, to sublease, to let or to otherwise grant for a consideration the right of a tenant to occupy housing not owned by the tenant.
106.50(1m)(s) (s) “Respondent" means the person accused in a complaint or amended complaint of discrimination in housing and any other person identified in the course of an investigation as allegedly having discriminated in housing.
106.50(1m)(t) (t) “Sexual orientation" has the meaning given in s. 111.32 (13m).
106.50(1m)(u) (u) “Status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking" means the status of a person who is seeking to rent or purchase housing or of a member or prospective member of the person's household having been, or being believed by the lessor or seller of housing to be, a victim of domestic abuse, as defined in s. 813.12 (1) (am), sexual assault under s. 940.225, 948.02, or 948.025, or stalking under s. 940.32.
106.50(1s) (1s)Department to administer. This section shall be administered by the department through its division of equal rights. The department may promulgate such rules as are necessary to carry out this section. No rule may prohibit the processing of any class action complaint or the ordering of any class-based remedy, or may provide that complaints may be consolidated for administrative convenience only.
106.50(2) (2)Discrimination prohibited. It is unlawful for any person to discriminate:
106.50(2)(a) (a) By refusing to sell, rent, finance or contract to construct housing or by refusing to negotiate or discuss the terms thereof.
106.50(2)(b) (b) By refusing to permit inspection or exacting different or more stringent price, terms or conditions for the sale, lease, financing or rental of housing.
106.50(2)(c) (c) By refusing to finance or sell an unimproved residential lot or to construct a home or residence upon such lot.
106.50(2)(d) (d) By advertising in a manner that indicates discrimination by a preference or limitation.
106.50(2)(e) (e) For a person in the business of insuring against hazards, by refusing to enter into, or by exacting different terms, conditions or privileges with respect to, a contract of insurance against hazards to a dwelling.
106.50(2)(f) (f) By refusing to renew a lease, causing the eviction of a tenant from rental housing or engaging in the harassment of a tenant.
106.50(2)(g) (g) In providing the privileges, services or facilities that are available in connection with housing.
106.50(2)(h) (h) By falsely representing that housing is unavailable for inspection, rental or sale.
106.50(2)(i) (i) By denying access to, or membership or participation in, a multiple listing service or other real estate service.
106.50(2)(j) (j) By coercing, intimidating, threatening or interfering with a person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having exercised or enjoyed, a right granted or protected under this section, or with a person who has aided or encouraged another person in the exercise or enjoyment of a right granted or protected under this section.
106.50(2)(k) (k) In making available any of the following transactions, or in the terms or conditions of such transactions for a person whose business includes engaging in residential real estate-related transactions:
106.50(2)(k)1. 1. The making or purchasing of loans or the provision of other financial assistance for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing or maintaining housing or the making or purchasing of loans or the provision of other financial assistance secured by residential real estate.
106.50(2)(k)2. 2. Selling, brokering or appraising residential real property.
106.50(2)(L) (L) By otherwise making unavailable or denying housing.
106.50(2m) (2m)Representations designed to induce panic sales. No person may induce or attempt to induce a person to sell or rent housing by representations regarding the present or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person of a particular economic status or a member of a protected class, or by representations to the effect that such present or prospective entry will or may result in any of the following:
106.50(2m)(a) (a) The lowering of real estate values in the area concerned.
106.50(2m)(b) (b) A deterioration in the character of the area concerned.
106.50(2m)(c) (c) An increase in criminal or antisocial behavior in the area concerned.
106.50(2m)(d) (d) A decline in the quality of the schools or other public facilities serving the area.
106.50(2r) (2r)Discrimination against persons with disabilities prohibited.
106.50(2r)(b)(b) Types of discrimination prohibited. In addition to discrimination prohibited under subs. (2) and (2m), no person may do any of the following:
106.50(2r)(b)1. 1. Segregate, separate, exclude or treat unequally in the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, housing to a buyer or renter because of a disability of that buyer or renter, a disability of a person residing in or intending to reside in that housing after it is sold, rented or made available or a disability of a person associated with that buyer or renter.
106.50(2r)(b)2. 2. Segregate, separate, exclude or treat unequally a person in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of housing, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such housing, because of a disability of that person, a disability of a person residing in or intending to reside in that housing after it is sold, rented or made available or a disability of a person associated with that person.
106.50(2r)(b)3. 3. Refuse to permit, at the expense of a person with a disability, reasonable modifications of existing housing that is occupied, or is to be occupied, by such a person if the modifications may be necessary to afford the person full enjoyment of the housing, except that in the case of rental housing the landlord may, where it is reasonable to do so, condition permission for a modification on the tenant's agreement to restore the interior of the housing to the condition that existed before the modification, other than reasonable wear and tear. The landlord may not increase any customarily required security deposit. Where it is necessary to ensure that funds will be available to pay for the restorations at the end of the tenancy, the landlord may negotiate as part of a restoration agreement a requirement that the tenant pay into an interest-bearing escrow account, over a reasonable period, a reasonable amount of money not to exceed the cost of the restorations. The interest in any such account shall accrue to the benefit of the tenant. If escrowed funds are not used by the landlord for restorations, they shall be returned to the tenant.
106.50(2r)(b)4. 4. Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services that are associated with the housing, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the owner of the housing.
106.50(2r)(bg) (bg) Animals that do work or perform tasks for individuals with disabilities.
106.50(2r)(bg)1.1. If an individual has a disability and a disability-related need for an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the individual, it is discrimination for a person to refuse to rent or sell housing to the individual, cause the eviction of the individual from housing, require extra compensation from the individual as a condition of continued residence in housing, or engage in the harassment of the individual because he or she keeps such an animal.
106.50(2r)(bg)2. 2. If an individual keeps or is seeking to keep an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks in housing, an owner, lessor, lessor's agent, owner's agent, or representative of a condominium association may request that the individual submit to the owner, lessor, agent, or representative reliable documentation that the individual has a disability and reliable documentation of the disability-related need for the animal, unless the disability is readily apparent or known. If the disability is readily apparent or known but the disability-related need for the animal is not, the individual may be requested to submit reliable documentation of the disability-related need for the animal.
106.50(2r)(bg)3. 3. An individual with a disability who keeps an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks in housing shall accept liability for sanitation with respect to, and damage to the premises caused by, the animal.
106.50(2r)(bg)4. 4. Nothing in this subsection prohibits an owner, lessor, lessor's agent, owner's agent, or representative of a condominium association from denying an individual the ability to keep an animal in housing if any of the following applies:
106.50(2r)(bg)4.a. a. The individual is not disabled, does not have a disability-related need for the animal, or fails to provide the documentation requested under subd. 2.
106.50(2r)(bg)4.b. b. Allowing the animal would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of services provided by the lessor, owner, or representative.
106.50(2r)(bg)4.c. c. The specific animal in question poses a direct threat to a person's health or safety that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
106.50(2r)(bg)4.d. d. The specific animal in question would cause substantial physical damage to a person's property that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
106.50(2r)(br) (br) Emotional support animals.
106.50(2r)(br)1.1. If an individual has a disability and a disability-related need for an emotional support animal, it is discrimination for a person to refuse to rent or sell housing to the individual, cause the eviction of the individual from housing, require extra compensation from the individual as a condition of continued residence in housing, or engage in the harassment of the individual because he or she keeps such an animal.
106.50(2r)(br)2. 2. If an individual keeps or is seeking to keep an emotional support animal in housing, an owner, lessor, lessor's agent, owner's agent, or representative of a condominium association may request that the individual submit to the owner, lessor, agent, or representative reliable documentation that the individual has a disability and reliable documentation of the disability-related need for the emotional support animal from a licensed health professional.
106.50(2r)(br)3. 3. An individual with a disability who keeps an emotional support animal in housing shall accept liability for sanitation with respect to, and damage to the premises caused by, the animal.
106.50(2r)(br)4. 4. Nothing in this subsection prohibits an owner, lessor, lessor's agent, owner's agent, or representative of a condominium association from denying an individual the ability to keep an animal in housing if any of the following applies:
106.50(2r)(br)4.a. a. The individual is not disabled, does not have a disability-related need for the animal, or fails to provide the documentation requested under subd. 2.
106.50(2r)(br)4.b. b. Allowing the animal would impose an undue financial and administrative burden or would fundamentally alter the nature of services provided by the lessor, owner, or representative.
106.50(2r)(br)4.c. c. The specific animal in question poses a direct threat to a person's health or safety that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
106.50(2r)(br)4.d. d. The specific animal in question would cause substantial physical damage to a person's property that cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.
106.50(2r)(br)5. 5. An individual shall forfeit not less than $500 if he or she, for the purpose of obtaining housing, intentionally misrepresents that he or she has a disability or misrepresents the need for an emotional support animal to assist with his or her disability.
106.50(2r)(br)6. 6. A licensed health professional shall forfeit not less than $500 if he or she, for the purpose of allowing the patient to obtain housing, misrepresents that his or her patient has a disability or misrepresents his or her patient's need for an emotional support animal to assist with his or her patient's disability.
106.50(2r)(c) (c) Design and construction of covered multifamily housing. In addition to discrimination prohibited under pars. (b), (bg), and (br) and subs. (2) and (2m), no person may design or construct covered multifamily housing, as defined in s. 101.132 (1) (d), unless it meets the standards specified in s. 101.132 (2) (a) 1. to 4. In addition, no person may remodel, as defined in s. 101.132 (1) (h), housing with 3 or more dwelling units unless the remodeled housing meets the standards specified in s. 101.132 (2) (a) 1. to 4. as required under s. 101.132 (2) (b) 1., 2. or 3., whichever is applicable.
106.50(5m) (5m)Exemptions and exclusions.
106.50(5m)(a)1.1. Nothing in this section prohibits discrimination based on age or family status with respect to housing for older persons.
106.50(5m)(a)1e. 1e. Under this paragraph, housing under sub. (1m) (m) 3. may qualify as housing for older persons only if the owner of the housing maintains records containing written verification that all of the following factors apply to the housing:
106.50(5m)(a)1e.b. b. At least 80 percent of the dwelling units under sub. (1m) (m) 3. are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older.
106.50(5m)(a)1e.c. c. Policies are published and procedures are adhered to that demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing under sub. (1m) (m) 3. for persons 55 years of age or older. The owner or manager may document compliance with this subd. 1e. c. by maintaining records containing written verification of the ages of the occupants of the housing.
106.50(5m)(a)1m. 1m. No person may discriminate by refusing to continue renting to a person living in housing for older persons under sub. (1m) (m) 3. who is subject to a hardship condition.
106.50(5m)(a)2. 2. Under this paragraph, housing may qualify as housing for older persons with respect to persons first occupying the housing on or after September 1, 1992, regardless of whether a person who had not attained the age of 62 resided in the housing on that date or regardless of whether one or more dwelling units were unoccupied on that date, if the persons who first occupy the housing on or after that date have attained the age of 62.
106.50(5m)(b) (b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a person from exacting different or more stringent terms or conditions for financing housing based on the age of the individual applicant for financing if the terms or conditions are reasonably related to the individual applicant.
106.50(5m)(c) (c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the development of housing designed specifically for persons with disabilities and preference in favor of persons with disabilities in relation to such housing.
106.50(5m)(d) (d) Nothing in this section requires that housing be made available to an individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the safety of other tenants or persons employed on the property or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others, if the risk of direct threat or damage cannot be eliminated or sufficiently reduced through reasonable accommodations. A claim that an individual's tenancy poses a direct threat or a substantial risk of harm or damage must be evidenced by behavior by the individual that caused harm or damage, that directly threatened harm or damage, or that caused a reasonable fear of harm or damage to other tenants, persons employed on the property, or the property. No claim that an individual's tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the safety of other persons or would result in substantial damage to property may be based on the tenant's status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
106.50(5m)(dm) (dm) It is not discrimination based on status as a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking for a landlord to bring an action for eviction of a tenant based on a violation of the rental agreement or of a statute that entitles the landlord to possession of the premises, unless subd. 1. or 2. applies. A tenant has a defense to an action for eviction brought by a landlord if the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the landlord knew or should have known any of the following:
106.50(5m)(dm)1. 1. That the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking and that the basis for the action for eviction is conduct that related to the commission of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking by a person who was not the invited guest of the tenant.
106.50(5m)(dm)2. 2. That the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, that the basis for the action for eviction is conduct that related to the commission of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking by a person who was the invited guest of the tenant, and that the tenant has done one of the following:
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 367 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before June 13, 2018. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after June 13, 2018 are designated by NOTES. (Published 6-13-18)