Dec 08

We are trying to get a handle on what percentage of uncollected rent is not reflected in eviction judgments.  Any data you share will be aggregated and will not identify you when we share our findings.

This information should be only for your Milwaukee County rentals.

  • How much rent went uncollected?
  • How much of the uncollected rent was included in eviction judgments? Do not include damages or money judgments that were not part of an eviction.
  • OPTIONAL:  How many units do you own or manage in Milwaukee County?

You can email me directly

There is an average of about a million dollars a month in Milwaukee County eviction judgments.  Our initial survey shows this represents somewhere between a quarter and a tenth of the total unpaid rent, which in turn means your tenants who are paying as they should are paying an extra $49 to $123 per month to cover those tenants that do not pay.  

Five years after the eviction has concluded only 2.5% of eviction judgments are paid.

Tim Ballering

Dec 06

A member wrote on the free Apartment Association listserv wrote:

I have a single family in Milwaukee county that the tenants are late almost every month. Usually I work with them but they haven’t been answering my calls. Can I give a 5 day notice to pay or vacate?
I’m not really sure what’s legal with the eviction moratorium.

CARES ACT: If the property has a federally backed mortgage or you are receiving Section 8, you are probably prohibited from serving a notice until at least 1/1/21. You would need to serve a 30 day notice for any money due in 2020.

CDC Moratorium: Judge Conley, who is in charge of evictions in Milwaukee County, has recently ruled that the moratorium does not prohibit serving a notice or filing an eviction even if you received the CDC Declaration.

If your property is not covered CARES or CDC you can serve notices and file evictions.

But … Have you considered attempting meditation?

We tried pre filing mediation before the WI moratorium ended. In our experience it delivered results similar to what you would get in a stipulated dismissal, but with far less confrontation and the added benefit of the mediator helping the tenant apply for assistance. We had a number of cases that would have resulted in displacement, but were positively resolve because of mediation.

In fact this has worked so well that we implemented a policy that we attempt mediation for all non payment situation prior to filing. Our company policy of pre filing mediation will remain in effect even after the COVID crises ends, because it works.

Mediate Milwaukee 414-939-8800 or emailing

Dec 05

Sign the petition at:

Dec 04

My father, William “Bill” Ballering passed away this morning.

Bill came into my life when I was ten when he married my mom and adopted my sister and me. He and mom only lasted a few years, but Bill and I remained close to the end.

Although I was not his responsibility, Bill taught me the values of work ethic, doing the right thing, ignoring the noise, and focusing on what had to be done. I am what I am today because of him.

When I bought my first home, a sad little house that needed a gut rehab, Bill was there every weekend helping remodel it. That is where I learned skills that became the foundation of my career.

Bill had an extreme work ethic. He was in his early 80s when I called him one day. He said he had some kid mowing his yard in the middle of the conversation, and he was angry at himself because he should be doing it. Last winter, at 85 years old, he shoveled three-foot deep of frozen snow for forty feet because the plow guy could not make it.

Bill was stoic long before stoicism became popular again. He was healthy as an ox until late September when he had a stroke. I spoke to him the day after he was admitted to the hospital. He said the stroke was nothing, only to hear from the nurse that he had lost the use of his right arm and could not walk. I asked him again, and he said, ‘Nah, don’t worry, it is really minor’ While being treated, they found cancer. A week after being at a rehab facility, he was rushed to the hospital with COVID. His O2 level was 70%. Halloween morning he told me he was dying. It was the first negative thing I recall him saying in the 55 years I’ve known him, He recovered from the COVID, but cancer quickly metastasized.

Thirty years ago, Bill found his soulmate in Emmy. He loved her immensely. When Emmy was no longer safe at home due to Alzheimer’s, Bill went to see her at the nursing home every day, some days more than once. In the beginning, he would often take her for a drive or out for ice cream. Later, when she no longer recognized him, he still went to see her every day. When Emmy passed, Bill visited her grave daily.

The grandkids and great-grandkids loved him. He looked so much like Santa Claus.

The world was blessed to have had him. Don’t feel sorry for me, I was the lucky one to have had him in my life.

This is my favorite picture.

Dec 01

News on Milwaukee’s Rental Housing Resource Center collaboration to help renters and housing providers. This was project was envisioned and started a couple of years ago. It became more relevant with the COVID economic crisis that has impacted the ability for folks to pay rent and avoid eviction.

The partners are a very diverse group: Community Advocates, Legal Aid, Legal Action, IMPACT, Mediate Milwaukee, Hope House, the City of Milwaukee, County of Milwaukee, and the Apartment Association.

The inclusion of the housing industry makes Milwaukee rather unique from other communities. Here we realize that housing and renters are two sides of a single coin. Both need the other to succeed so that they can succeed.

Here is yesterday’s news:

  • Milwaukee renters and landlords will have a central spot to get assistance with rent, part of an effort to reduce evictions.
  • Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center Hopes To Reduce Evictions
  • Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center to launch Dec 1. 1
  • Keeping the roof over your head: collaborative website helping those facing pandemic induced eviction

Nov 28

There are those who see rental housing as a zero-sum game — the only answer to the COVID rental economic crises is to have the property owners absorb all the lost rent.  

What we learned from looking at the September 2015 and May 2019 Milwaukee County eviction data that less than 2.4% of eviction judgments are paid even after five years, with less than seven tenths of a percent paid within six months.  

So when you read of $50-120B in rent debt due before the economy returns, that means someone is expecting $47.5B to $117B will be borne by housing.  

The right answer is for renter advocates and housing advocates to work in unison to get the funding necessary to prevent evictions and stabilize rental housing .

If the rent is paid, people will not need to worry about eviction, nor will they have to worry that rental housing will fail, also leaving them homeless and facing higher rents in the future. And let’s not forget the cost of housing foreclosures on municipal budgets.

Nov 25

There is a revision to the 1099 link:

Kim here from Best Accounting Software.

I noticed a broken link on this page –

The IRS now has a section for self-employed individuals with all sorts of tax guidance, perhaps you’d like to update your page to point people to –

In 2010 two laws revised the 1099 requirements  effective for payments made after 1/1/11 ( 2012 tax year)

The 2010 Small Business Act extends the 1099 requirement to all rental property owners. Prior to 1/1/2011 small rental property owners were exempted from the aw.  It appears very unlikely that this provision will be reverted.

The 2010 National Health Care Reform Act P.L. 111-148 (a.k.a. Obamacare) extended the 1099 requirement to all purchases of GOODS (previously the requirement applied only to services.) This bill also eliminates the exemption for if the party you paid was a corporation. An attempt to reverse this portion of the Health Care Bill in December failed, but now that evenPresident Obama is considering fixing parts of it, so it may change.

Do you use small Contractors in your business or to perform repairs?

If so the 1099s you file may cause the IRS and state taxing authorities to reclassify those “contractors” as “statutory employees.”  This can be hugely expensive with fines up to Continue reading »

Nov 25

The Apartment Association is collaborating with Community Advocates, Legal Action, Legal Aid, Mediate Milwaukee, Impact, Hope House and others, working towards finding resources that help renters, and therefore property owners, succeed.

Here is the kick off video that I participated on:

Milwaukee Rental Housing Resource Center Info Session

Nov 24

Maybe that’s why experts who specialize in housing policy have begun to talk with increasing excitement about a third way that President-elect Joe Biden put forward in his campaign platform. Under his proposal, every cost-burdened, low-income family would receive a check to bridge the gap between their actual rent and the rent they can afford. The impact would be immediate.

“It would be like food stamps, but for housing,” explained Anne Fadullon, who directs Philadelphia’s Department of Planning and Development, and is a fan of the proposal. “If you qualify, you get it.”
Nov 14

Two must view videos.  They tell our story well and the quality of the video work is great.

Have your own story that you want to share?  Send me your contact info to and I’ll put you in touch with Nick Sakalis, who produced these.  

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