Aug 28

Seems like a way to increase revenue a bit but there is one big gotcha to be aware of.  In WI if parking is charged separately or an additional charge then you must collect and pay sales tax on it.

A couple of years ago the Wisconsin Department of Revenue went around checking for owners who were charging extra for tenants to park or offering a lower rate to those who did not want parking.   The landlords involved had to pay sales tax that they should have collected plus interest and penalties.

See the WI Administrative Code Revenue  §11.48 (1) (b) (text below):

Tax 11.48 Landlords, hotels and motels. (1) LANDLORDS.

(b) The sales price from providing parking space for motor vehicles and aircraft and from providing docking and storage space for boats are taxable. If a separate charge is made for the parking, docking, or storage space, the charge is taxable. However, if a separate charge is not made and the price of a rental unit includes a charge for a
parking, docking, or storage space, and if similar units are rented at a reduced price if the parking, docking, or storage space is not utilized, the difference between the rental price of the 2 similar units is taxable as a charge for parking, docking, or storage.

Aug 22

A thread from one of the rental property email list I subscribe to begins with a question regarding a lease that was invalidated due to a provision requiring the tenant to pay the landlord’s attorney contrary to  Wisconsin ATCP 134. Below is a follow up question:

So if the tenancy is disolved and i can not enforce the lease but shouldnt i be able to enforce the damages they did? otherwise this allows tenannts to be sneaky. not pay rent and damage and walk away better.

My response was as follows (cleaned up a bit from the original):

Continue reading »

Aug 19

Hey folks

It election time again…at the Apartment Association.

Here is a real opportunity to help change the industry, the direction of the association and your life. Yes, and improve your life. As an AASEW board member you will see opportunities and pitfalls facing our industry well in advance of others. You will help decide which issues we should address and what resources the association should provide.

Back in the 1980’s I looked at joining the Association, but was reluctant because I did not see it as addressing my needs and concerns. Then John Chitko, Jeff’s Dad, said the one thing that changed my life probably more than anything else: ‘This is an all volunteer group. Join, put your ideas out there. If they have merit people will support them, if not you’ll learn something’

Taking John’s challenge and becoming actively involved with the board taught me so much and propelled my business far beyond were it would have been otherwise. Ask any former board member – I am certain you will not find one who will not tell you they came away with more than they gave.

You say ‘I don’t know all that much about landlording, what can I contribute?’ I did not know that much either when I first became a board member many, many years ago. I only  knew there were things in my industry that needed to be changed.

So take John’s challenge and improve your life.

Requirements: Member of the AASEW for six months

Aug 18

A question posted to one of the email lists that I participate in:

I rented to a young Military gentleman. He says he is protected from fullfilling my lease if/when he is deployed to Afghanistan.

You must release him from the lease if the deployment will last 90 days or more per the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

See the link below starting at page 18:

Aug 09

Fellow landlords

What services, tools, resource, supplies, innovations, changes in laws, grants, education, support from fellow owners etc. do you find lacking, unavailable, too expensive, too difficult to obtain, change etc.?

You get the idea…what do you see as the three, four or twenty things that would make your business more successful? Skies the limit. If it has to do with landlording or real estate investing throw it on the list.

Don’t worry if you think it is “doable” or not, Wild Ideas welcome and encouraged. But also don’t put off posting the more pedestrian needs and wants either.

You can leave comments, here or via private email to me at Tim [at] (makes sending the truly wild and innovative stuff easier for shy folks like me.)  I’ll compile the list for all to see.

Some will have readily available solutions that will be posted and shared, I’m sure.  Others are things our industry should be working on finding, changing, designing etc.

Some rather thought provocative comments below. Many of these were sent via email or posted on one of the list serves and reposted here as a central collection place. Please throw yours into the mix — Thanks Tim

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