Apr 30

https://www.naahq.org/news-publications/explaining-breakdown-1-rent

Apr 28

WI DATCP: Emergency Rule 2002 Rule, prohibition on late fees.

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/register/2020/772B/register/emr/emr2002_rule_text/emr2002_rule_text

This emergency rule modifies Wis. Admin. Code ch. ATCP 134 to create a temporary prohibition on charging late rent fees or late rent penalties for any missed rent payment or any late rent payment during the current public health emergency and during the 90 days following the public health emergency.

There are questions as to what happens to April late fees that are charged but not collected, as they were incurred during the emergency declaration

A better question is, not if you can legally go after April’s late fees, but should you? I urge landlords not to charge late fees at this time, law or no law. 

Most landlords are not charging late fees, so this will have little impact, other than the length of time after the crises is over.

My way of thinking about this – if the tenant ultimately catches up on the base rent, I consider it a better than the anticipated outcome.  If they leave, owing rent, then you would not have collected the late fee anyways.

There is a mandatory 45 day comment period.  You can also  (politely) comment at:https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/feedback/agencyform?cite=EmergencyRules/EmR2002
Please do not make comments that feed into the negative stereotype of landlords

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The Wisconsin rules on emergency rules:

Emergency Rules
As noted, certain requirements that apply to permanent rules also apply to emergency rules, including the requirement for gubernatorial approval of the scope statement and of the final draft rule.

Once the Governor has approved a final draft emergency rule in writing, the agency may publish the rule in the official state newspaper, at which time the rule takes effect, unless the rule specifies another effective date.

The agency must also file a certified copy of the rule with the LRB in order for the rule to be valid. On the day an agency files an emergency rule with the LRB that may have an economic impact on small business, the agency must also submit the rule to the SBRRB. Just as for proposed permanent rules, the SBRRB must determine whether the emergency rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. If it determines that the rule will have such an impact, the board may submit suggested changes to the agency to minimize the economic impact of the rule.

An agency must hold a public hearing on an emergency rule within 45 days after the adoption of the rule. An emergency rule remains in effect only for 150 days, unless JCRAR grants an extension for up to an additional 60 days. The total period for all extensions granted may not exceed 120 days.
[s. 227.24, Stats.]

The Small Business analysis is at: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/register/2020/772B/register/emr/emr2002_rule_text/emr2002_initial_regulatory_flexibility_analysis

Apr 21

The Minnesota congresswoman’s proposal to cancel rents and mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic is both wildly impractical and constitutionally dubious.

And this is why we need to work together as an industry.

Small landlords are often independent and segmented, allowing us ot fall victim to these things.

What can you do? Join a real estate investor group, in fact join a few of them.

Apr 16

The CARES Act includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions, late fees and other penalties for properties with federally backed mortgages (Freddie Mac/ Fannie Mae/ FHA /VA / HUD), beginning March 27th.

These prohibitions also extend to tenants receiving Section 8 vouchers.

Owners of properties with the government backed mortgages or tenants on rent assist are prohibited from serving eviction notices or filing evictions until July 25th. The law also requires a 30 day notice to evict, effectively not allowing evictions until August 24th.

This does not apply to tenants that are not receiving rent assist or living in a federally mortgaged property.

That said we are not charging late fees during this unprecedented time and urge other owners to do the same, because it its the right thing.

In WI you cannot evict or give notice for nonpayment to any tenant until 5/27/2020. The rent is, however, still due.

I will argue that it is in not only the tenants’, but also your best interest to work on payment plans for tenants who fell behind because of loss of income when you factor in the costs of unit turns.

Try mediation if you are having trouble working out a reasonable repayment plan. Maybe try meditation too. 🤔

We posted a bunch of resources to help tenants get through this at: https://apartmentsmilwaukee.com/r/

You can copy the page content into an email to your tenants, and edit out our contact info.

Aug 18

The Fall 2019 Apartment Association Landlord Tenant Law Boot Camp is October 26, 2019

Even though I know the law well, we’ve sent our staff. It is good for them to hear the rules from someone else. Plus if they learn one new thing, it more than pays the modest cost.

Wisconsin landlord tenant law has changed dramatically in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 to Wisconsin’s Landlord Tenant Law with Act 143, Act 76, Act 176 and Act 317.

Tristan obviously knows the latest law, but that’s the easy part. He also is one of the most prolific landlord tenant attorneys in Southeastern WI. That gives him great insights into how the courts are ruling today and what the most recent “Gotcha’s” are.

At $189 for members, it is far cheaper than learning from your mistakes. Not only does it help prevent costly errors, you also will learn how to legally screen better, thereby reducing evictions, and other things that will result in profitability.

AASEW Landlord Boot Camp 2019
WHEN: Saturday, October 26, 2019
WHERE: Four Points Sheraton 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207 (Across from the airport)

Registration opens at 7:10 AM

The seminar runs from 8:30 to 5 PM with a 30 minute break for a complimentary lunch. There will be a one hour question and answer session afterwards, ending promptly at 6 pm. Many will find the Q&A invaluable, therefore you may wish to arrangements to stay until 6 pm.

Updated to include the latest law changes and court rulings!

INCLUDED: 100 plus page manual to help you put what you learn into practice.

More info and sign up at http://LandlordBootCamp2019.com

Jun 17

I had seen this years ago and then forgot about it until I ran into it this morning while searching for something.

A real wealth of info, of course much of it slanted towards tenants rights. Some of it is outdated, such as the eviction notice grid does not contain 5 Day Breach for Month to Month.

We should work to get eviction prevention (very different than eviction defense) as part of this, as well as more tenant responsibility focused pieces.

Eviction prevention is providing the resources and tools necessary for tenants to succeed. When tenants fail, landlords suffer or fail.

http://wilawlibrary.gov/topics/landlord.php

 

Jan 13

The Spring 2019 Apartment Association Landlord Tenant Law Boot Camp is February 9th, 2019. (Less than a month away.)

Even though I know the law well, we’ve sent our staff.  It is good for them to hear the rules from someone else.  Plus if they learn one new thing, it more than pays the modest cost.

Tristan knows the latest law, but that’s the easy part.  He also is one of the most prolific landlord tenant attorneys in Southeastern WI.  That gives him great insights into how the courts are ruling today and what the most recent “Gotcha’s” are.

At $179 for members, it is far cheaper than learning from your mistakes.  Not only does it help prevent costly errors, you also will learn how to screen better and other things that will result in profitability.

AASEW Landlord Boot Camp 2019

WHEN: Saturday, February 9, 2019

WHERE: Four Points Sheraton 5311 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207 (Across from the airport)

Registration opens at 7:10 AM

The seminar runs from 8:30 to 5 PM with a 30 minute break for a complimentary lunch. There will be a one hour question and answer session afterwards, ending promptly at 6 pm. Many will find the Q&A invaluable, therefore you may wish to arrangements to stay until 6 pm.

Updated to include information from Wisconsin ACT 317!

INCLUDED: 100 plus page manual to help you put what you learn into practice.

 

More info and sign up at LandlordBootCamp2019.com

Sep 27

Attorney Tristan Pettit, you know, the guy that writes the standard legal forms for Wisconsin Legal Blank, is doing his landlord-tenant Boot Camp again on Saturday, October 7th. There are still a few seats left.

You get a full day of landlord-tenant law training for the price you’ll spend for 30 minutes of attorney time after you make a mistake in this complex area of law,

All the details are at:
http://www.landlordbootcamp2017.com

But the proof of value is I send my staff to Tristan’s Boot Camps.  Even though I know the laws, it is of great value to have staff learn what they need to be concerned about in a different setting than the office.

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. 😉

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

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.

http://www.landlordbootcamp2017.com

* Most “tenant advocates” 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… but this is another story for another day.

Sep 08

A five day notice for payment is a “pay or quit” or right to cure. If the tenant presents the full amount within the five day period the notice is void.  Remember if you serve via certified mail, you must add two days.

The law changed with 2013 ACT 76, effective in March 2014.

799.40 (1m) Acceptance of rent or other payment. If a landlord commences an action under this section against a tenant whose tenancy has been terminated for failure to pay rent or for any other reason, the action under this section may not be dismissed solely because the landlord accepts past due rent or any other payment from the tenant after the termination of the tenant’s tenancy serving notice of default or after commencing the action.

If the tenant pays a portion but not all the rent due, the notice is probably valid.  The tricky part here is if you the tenant felt that you agreed to waive the notice if they made the partial payment.  This turns into ‘he said, she said’  To avoid that issue we have the following at the bottom of our notice:

“Non Waiver: If you make a  payment  of less than the $xxx.xx required by this notice, you will still be in default and SUBJECT TO EVICTION  unless the Owner agrees in writing to cancel this notice.”

Our system also prints the following on receipts of tenants with active five days:

“Non-waiver: This partial payment will be applied to past due rent owed and that by accepting same owner is not waiving his right  to proceed with an eviction based on the 5-Day notice dated xx/xx/xxxx unless tenant enters into a written payment agreement for the balance and owner agrees in writing to vacate the notice.”

Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.  Don’t be a jerk about it.  If the tenant owes, let’s say $900, and pays, let’s say $820, with a promise to pay the balance with next month’s rent and you quietly accept the money and then file the eviction that would meet my definition and probably the Court Commissioner’s definition of being a jerk.  Court Commissioners can find some pretty creative ways around jerks. 😉  However in the same scenario the tenant gives you $200 and promises to be back on Friday to pay the balance on Friday and fails to, then by all means evict.

Finally the reader asked about payment in full of rent and late fees.   The law does not currently permit late fees on five day notices for month to month tenants and inclusion of those on a five day will cause the eviction to fail in some counties.  The Apartment Association is working to change this law in the current session.

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