Mar 20

The Landlord Omnibus bill was fast tracked, being introduced on 2/13/12,  passed by the Senate on March 14th, adopted by the Assembly on March 15th and will be signed into law on Mar 21st (tomorrow).  While the bill addresses many issues in a positive manner for landlords, it also is going to require revisions to your future rental agreements.

The changes required that I see so far are:

  1. You must put language in your agreement on how you will handle disposal of the junk left behind when a tenant moves
  2. If you do not use move in condition report you will be required to do so now. It should probably be named “information check-in sheet” to match the language in the statute
  3. If you have a version of the Crime Free Addendum in your lease you must modify it or remove it

There are probably more changes that are required.  I’ll update this as we get more information.

How the new WI Landlord Omnibus bill affects our lease

We already address disposal in our agreement.  The big change for us is our agreement uses a version of the Crime Free lease addendum that is modified to existing WI law.  Because of the Omnibus bill we must remove or change those provisions.

If you are using our (Affordable’s) rental agreement it is imperative that you stop using it for tenancies entered into after March 31st, the proposed effective date of the Omnibus bill.

We will be working on a revised version of our agreement that continues to suggest the tenants should not allow the property to be used for drugs and gangs while complying with this new law.

The changes are required to incorporate the concept of whether the tenant could “reasonably have prevented the crime.”

The revised statutory language reads

704.44 Rental agreement that contains certain provisions is void. (intro.)  Notwithstanding s. 704.02, a rental agreement is void and unenforceable if it does any of the following:

….

704.44 (9) Allows the landlord to terminate the tenancy of a tenant if a crime is committed in or on the rental property, even if the tenant could not reasonably have prevented the crime.

 

The Wisconsin Legislative Council’s synopsis of the landlord Omnibus bill states

Senate Amendment 1 to the substitute amendment specifies that a provision in a rental agreement that allows a landlord to terminate the tenancy if a crime is committed in or on the rental property, even if the tenant could not reasonably have prevented the crime, is a prohibited provision, and therefore, renders the entire rental agreement void and unenforceable.

 

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