Apr 28

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


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


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

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