Oct 12

A reader of the LandlordAssciation Yahoo Groups asks what can they do about a Wisconsin tenant who harrasses everyone that moves in above them into moving.  The owner is using a generic lease that is silent on the subject.

In WI absent a conflicting provision in a lease, §704 applies.  In particular, for this problem §704.05 (3).


704.05  Rights and duties of landlord and tenant in absence of written agreement to contrary.

(1)  When section applicable. So far as applicable, this section governs the rights and duties of the landlord and tenant in the absence of any inconsistent provision in writing signed by both the landlord and the tenant. Except as otherwise provided in this section, this section applies to any tenancy.


(3) Use of premises, additions or alterations by tenant. The tenant can make no physical changes in the nature of the premises, including decorating, removing, altering or adding to the structures thereon, without prior consent of the landlord. The tenant cannot use the premises for any unlawful purpose nor in such manner as to interfere unreasonably with use by another occupant of the same building or group of buildings.

This also works to get rid of drug dealers etc if your lease does not have such a provision.  The fact that this is statutory probably gives you better footing for an eviction that simply being in your lease.

But before you rush off and draft a crafty lease of your own, remember that in Wisconsin if your lease violates one of the “Nine Deadly Sins” contained in §704.44, the entire lease is void as to the landlord enforcing it, but a tenant may enforce the remaining parts they like.


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