The Wisconsin residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding document used to formalize an agreement between a landlord and tenant to rent real property for a fee. This contract is governed by Wisconsin landlord-tenant law and includes terms and conditions outlining the responsibilities of each party.
Wisconsin Lease Agreement Disclosures
The below disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in Wisconsin.
|Landlord’s Name/Address||All Units|
|Utilities||Units Where Utilities Aren’t Included|
|Shared Utilities||Units with Shared Utility Meters|
|Pre-Existing Damages||All Units Charging a Security Deposit|
|Domestic Abuse||All Units|
|Nonstandard Provisions||Landlord/Tenant Agree to Nonstandard Lease Provisions|
|Code Violations||Units with Violations|
|Lead Paint||All Units Prior to 1978|
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Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Wisconsin.
Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.
Applicable to leases where the utilities are not included in the rent in Wisconsin.
If water, heat, or electricity is not included in the rent, the landlord must disclose this information to the tenant before the commencement of tenancy. This information must also be disclosed before the landlord accepts any money or security deposit.
Applicable to any building with submetering or shared utility meters in Wisconsin.
It is legally required that landlords in Wisconsin disclose the specifics of how utilities are split between multiple tenants and common areas. Options include charging by square footage of the property, the number of tenants, or any other method of the landlord’s choosing. Below is a sample of a shared utility arrangement disclosure:
UTILITIES: This rental unit shares the following utilities with another unit or common area:
[ ] Electricity
[ ] Water
[ ] Gas
[ ] Sewage
[ ] Other:__________See Alsospencer klavan boyfriend joshMahoning County Real Estate Sales: $100K+, Full Month September 2022 - Business Journal Daily | The Youngstown Publishing CompanyLoss Payee and Lienholder addresses and contact information updated daily – free list | CSS Insurance Services, llcWhat is original certificate of title?
This lease uses the following method for calculating utility charges between Tenant(s):
[ ] Home Square Footage
[ ] Number of Tenants
[ ] Even Split Between Tenants
[ ] Other:___________________________________________________________
Tenant agrees to pay the monthly utility charge to Landlord, plus a $__ service charge as part of each month’s rental payment.
Download: Wisconsin Shared Utility Disclosure Form (PDF)
Applicable to all rental units in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin requires that landlords provide a check-in checklist (usually alongside the rental agreement) that outlines the inventory and the tenant may also write comments and details about the condition of the property. The tenant must return the sheet to the landlord within 7 days of the lease commencing.
Download: Wisconsin Move-In Checklist Disclosure Form (PDF)
Pre-Existing Damages Disclosure
Applicable to any lease that charges a security deposit in Wisconsin.
Similar to a move-in checklist, Wisconsin landlords are required to provide notice to potential tenants that they have a right to inspect the dwelling for damages. This can also include a tenant’s request for a checklist of damages that were charged to the previous tenant and whether these damages were addressed within seven days of the beginning of tenancy.
RIGHT TO INSPECTION AND PRE-EXISTING DAMAGES. Tenant(s) possesses a right to inspect the premises for defects within 7 days of lease commencement. Tenant(s) may also request a receipt of the previous tenant’s security deposit charges and their status upon the commencement of the new lease.
Notice of Domestic Abuse Protections
Applicable to all rental units in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin landlords must provide a notice about the protection afforded to victims of domestic abuse in the rental agreement or as an addendum. The notice should contain the below excerpt:
NOTICE OF DOMESTIC ABUSE PROTECTIONS. As provided in section 106.50 (5m) (dm) of the Wisconsin statutes, a tenant has a defense to an eviction action if the tenant can prove that the landlord knew, or should have known, the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking and that the eviction action is based on conduct related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking committed by either of the following:
(a) A person who was not the tenant’s invited guest.
(b) A person who was the tenant’s invited guest, but the tenant has done either of the following:
1. Sought an injunction barring the person from the premises.
2. Provided a written statement to the landlord stating that the person will no longer be an invited guest of the tenant and the tenant has not subsequently invited the person to be the tenant’s guest.
A tenant who is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking may have the right to terminate the rental agreement in certain limited situations, as provided in section 704.16 of the Wisconsin statutes. If the tenant has safety concerns, the tenant should contact a local victim service provider or law enforcement agency.
A tenant is advised that this notice is only a summary of the tenant’s rights and the specific language of the statutes governs in all instances.See AlsoAfter a decade of hype, Dallas-Houston bullet train developer faces a leadership exodus as land acquisition slowsIsland Lake, IL Homes For Sale | Coldwell Banker Today's Realtors, LLC299 Cool Clan Names with Meaning [ Powerful, 2,3,4 Letters Clan Names ]Lands waterfront vancouver islands - lands in Vancouver - Mitula Homes
Nonstandard Rental Provision Disclosure
Applicable to leases where a landlord and tenant agree on nonstandard provisions to include in the lease in Wisconsin.
When a nonstandard rental provision is agreed upon (such as the ability to enter the premises without 24 hours of notice), the provision must be disclosed in a document titled “NONSTANDARD PROVISIONS” along with the lease. The landlord must identify and discuss the provision with the tenant and both parties must sign or initial the document to agree.
Code Violation Disclosure
Applicable to known violations that affect habituality in Wisconsin.
If a landlord or building manager is aware of any code violations existing in the building, they must be disclosed in the lease agreement. Violations can include defects affecting the habituality of the dwelling unit or a threat to health and/or safety.
Some examples of code violations include:
- The lack of hot or cold running water.
- Lack of heating to maintain livable temperature (67° F).
- Unsafe electrical connections.
- Structural hazards.
- Lack of effective plumbing or sewage disposal.
Copies of the violation from the code enforcement authority may serve as property disclosure.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Wisconsin to:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Download: Wisconsin Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Wisconsin law.These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs||If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Late/Returned Check Fees||Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Wisconsin there are no restrictions on late fees and no statute on bounced checks.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Non-Refundable Fees||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Smoking||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.
- 1 ATCP 134.04(1)
(1) Identification of landlord or authorized agents.
(a) The landlord shall, except as provided under par. (c), disclose to the tenant in writing, at or before the time a rental agreement is entered into, the name and address of:
1. The person or persons authorized to collect or receive rent and manage and maintain the premises, and who can readily be contacted by the tenant; and
2. The owner of the premises or other person authorized to accept service of legal process and other notices and demands on behalf of the owner. The address disclosed under this subdivision shall be an address within the state at which service of process can be made in person.
(b) A landlord shall keep tenants informed of changes, if any, in the information required under par. (a). The landlord shall mail or deliver written notice of each change within 10 business days after the change occurs.
- 2 ATCP 134.04(3)
If charges for water, heat or electricity are not included in the rent, the landlord shall disclose this fact to the tenant before entering into a rental agreement or accepting any earnest money or security deposit from the prospective tenant.
- 3 ATCP 134.04(3)
If individual dwelling units and common areas are not separately metered, and if the charges are not included in the rent, the landlord shall disclose the basis on which charges for utility services will be allocated among individual dwelling units.
- 4 WI Stat § 704.08 (2019)
A landlord shall provide to a new residential tenant when the tenant commences his or her occupancy of the premises a check-in sheet that the tenant may use to make comments, if any, about the condition of the premises. The tenant shall be given 7 days from the date the tenant commences his or her occupancy to complete the check-in sheet and return it to the landlord. The landlord is not required to provide the check-in sheet to a tenant upon renewal of a rental agreement.
- 5 ATCP 134.06(1)
(a) Before a landlord accepts a security deposit, or converts an earnest money deposit to a security deposit under s. ATCP 134.05, the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing that the tenant may do any of the following by a specified deadline date which is not less than 7 days after the start of tenancy:
1. Inspect the dwelling unit and notify the landlord of any preexisting damages or defects.
2. Request a list of physical damages or defects, if any, charged to the previous tenant’s security deposit. The landlord may require the tenant to make this request, if any, in writing.
(b) If a tenant makes a request under par. (a) 2., the landlord shall provide the tenant with a list of all physical damages or defects charged to the previous tenant’s security deposit, regardless of whether those damages or defects have been repaired. The landlord shall provide the list within 30 days after the landlord receives the request, or within 7 days after the landlord notifies the previous tenant of the security deposit deductions, whichever occurs later.
- 6 WI Stat § 704.14 (2019)
A residential rental agreement shall include the following notice in the agreement or in an addendum to the agreement:
- 7 ATCP 134.09(c)
(c) A rental agreement may include a nonstandard rental provision authorizing a landlord to enter a tenant’s dwelling unit at reasonable times, under circumstances not authorized under par. (a) or (b). The landlord shall include the nonstandard provision, if any, in a separate written document entitled “NONSTANDARD RENTAL PROVISIONS” which the landlord provides to the tenant. The landlord shall specifically identify and discuss the nonstandard provision with the tenant before the tenant enters into any rental agreement with the landlord. If the tenant signs or initials the nonstandard rental provision, it is rebuttably presumed that the landlord has specifically identified and discussed that nonstandard provision with the tenant, and that the tenant has agreed to it.
- 8 ATCP 134.09(2a)
Before entering into a rental agreement or accepting any earnest money or security deposit from the prospective tenant, the landlord shall disclose to the prospective tenant:
(a) Any building code or housing code violation to which all of the following apply:
1. The landlord has actual knowledge of the violation.
2. The violation affects the dwelling unit that is the subject of the prospective rental agreement or a common area of the premises.
3. The violation presents a significant threat to the prospective tenant’s health or safety.
4. The violation has not been corrected.
- 9 ATCP 134.09(2b)
(b) The following conditions affecting habitability, the existence of which the landlord knows or could know on basis of reasonable inspection, whether or not notice has been received from code enforcement authorities:
1. The dwelling unit lacks hot or cold running water.
2. Heating facilities serving the dwelling unit are not in safe operating condition, or are not capable of maintaining a temperature, in all living areas of the dwelling unit, of at least 67° F (19° C) during all seasons of the year in which the dwelling unit may be occupied. Temperatures in living areas shall be measured at the approximate center of the room, midway between floor and ceiling.
3. The dwelling unit is not served by electricity, or the electrical wiring, outlets, fixtures or other components of the electrical system are not in safe operating condition.
4. Any structural or other conditions in the dwelling unit or premises which constitute a substantial hazard to the health or safety of the tenant, or create an unreasonable risk of personal injury as a result of any reasonably foreseeable use of the premises other than negligent use or abuse of the premises by the tenant.
5. The dwelling unit is not served by plumbing facilities in good operating condition.
6. The dwelling unit is not served by sewage disposal facilities in good operating condition.
- How Long Can a Residential Lease Be in Wisconsin?
- The maximum duration of a standard residential lease in Wisconsin is one (1) year. Leases for longer than one year must be in writing and signed by the landlord and tenant (WI Stat § 704.03(1)). Read more »
- Is a Contract to Lease Binding in Wisconsin?
- Yes, a contract to lease is legally binding in Wisconsin. As long as it has been signed by both parties, the landlord and the tenant are both required to comply with the terms and conditions laid out in the lease. Read more »
- Do Lease Agreements Need to Be Notarized in Wisconsin?
- No, lease agreements do not need to be notarized in Wisconsin. A landlord and tenant can choose to get a lease notarized if they wish, but it is optional. Read more »
- Can a Lease Automatically Renew in Wisconsin?
- Yes, a lease can automatically renew in Wisconsin. Leases will commonly have an automatic renewal clause written into the lease, which will state if the lease will renew without action. Read more »