Feb 09

For the past couple of years, we have sold out both the spring and fall sessions of Attorney Tristan Pettit’s AASEW Landlord Tenant Law Boot Camp.

It looks like we are on track to do the same for the upcoming February 18th, 2017 Boot Camp.

Last fall I waited too long to sign up my new staff members and could not get them in. I signed up three staff people very early for this one. ūüėČ

You may ask ‚ÄėWhy would Tim pay $537 plus wages to send three people to Boot Camp when he knows the laws so well?‚Äô

The answer is easy: One small mistake or missed opportunity will cost us far more than this. It is important that my folks know the law as WI landlord Tenant Law is not always what a reasonable person would assume it to be. And this is ever evolving, with both new laws, new interpretations by courts and new tricks by tenant advocates*. This is not the first time we’ve sent staff either.

This course is presented by Attorney Tristan Pettit. Tristan’s law practice focuses on landlord-tenant law, he is a current board member of the Apartment Association as well as former president, and drumroll please, he writes all the standard landlord tenant forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank.

If you want to go, now that my seats are secure ;-), you can sign up online or call Joy at the Association 414-276-7378 and reserve a spot.


* Most “tenant advocates‚ÄĚ only advocate for tenants that break the rules. This ultimately costs the rest of the good tenants more in increased rents and decreased service or more noise and disruption‚Ķ but this is another story for another day.

Feb 27

From yesterday’s Journal Sentinel on a major heroin and cocaine arrest:

A separate complaint charges six Milwaukee residents with a variety of offenses related to the operation, which was based out of a rented house at 1800 S. Layton Blvd. A woman who lived there told investigators the main supplier paid the rent, car costs and other bills for her in exchange for using the location as a stash house for drugs and money.


‚ÄĚFronting‚ÄĚ is when, one person employees another person with a stellar rental history to apply for and rent a unit that the applicant has no intention of living at. Most often it is used by bad guys to acquire a place to do bad things, like sell dope. ¬†We‚Äôve also seen parents and friends front for people who otherwise could not get into our rentals due to eviction or criminal histories.

Screening becomes pretty much useless, unless fronting can be stopped. Law enforcement should look at these cases as felony fraud when used to put someone in a unit that the landlord would not otherwise rent to.  When used to facilitate a criminal act the fronter should be charged with either aiding and abetting the crime or the crime itself РIf you drive the get away car while your buddy robs a liquor store and he kills someone, you will be charged with murder.  This should be the same.

In 1996 the Association had met with then D A McCann.  He promised to pursue fronting  cases if documented and presented to him.  Some cases were sent his way, but nothing ever happened.

When John Chisholm first became District Attorney he met a couple of times with the Southside Landlord Compact, a group comprised of small neighborhood landlords as well as many members of the AASEW. ¬† We told him a large problem we were having was ‚Äúfronting.” ¬†

We had a major drug raid at one of our properties a few of years ago.  We went back over the app to see what we had missed. Everything looked correct. We rechecked the tenant for criminal charges Рthere were none.  We had done an in home pre rental visit. Notes had shown a woman, two kids in a well kept unit. 

I sent one of my manager to the four family she was living at when she applied to her to ask the neighbors if there was any indication of bad activity.  Low and behold the person we rented to was still living at the house where she lived when we accepted her application.  My manager asked her and she admitted that she was paid $500 a month to rent the house where the drug crime occurred and drop off the rent each month. We gave all of this information to the Police and DA.  She was never arrested. 

At least in the case reported yesterday the fronter was arrest.  Let’s hope this is part of a growing trend.

Jan 09

Attorney Tristan Pettit is presenting the Landlord Boot Camp again this February.  Prior Boot Camps were very well received, with positive feed back from all that attended

Continue reading »

Oct 27

Saturday I had just locked up the office and heading home as I saw a U-  Haul truck pull up. Thinking perhaps they were a move in that arrived late I asked if I could help them.

Continue reading »

Oct 07

Wisconsin CCAP (The WI Circuit Court Automation Program), which is under attack by some legislators,  provides free access to WI evictions, criminal and civil court cases.  This is invaluable in checking out prospective tenants, thereby avoiding nonpaying and disruptive tenants.

What resources are available for similar screening searches outside of WI?  I have attached the list of the ones we have identified.  Our list currently has resources for about half the states, but not all counties in all of those states. Some are free as is WI, others we have found so far are fee based.

So let’s ¬†“crowdsource” a more complete list. ¬†The results will be shared here for all of us to use when screening out of state tenants. ¬†If you have found other or better resources please post them to the comments on this page. ¬†I will update this list and repost it as additional resources are identified.

Continue reading to see the list we already have assembled . ¬†Clicking on a state’s name will take you to that point on the list.

Continue reading »

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