If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a Wisconsin (WI) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to Wisconsin state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
If the tenant doesn’t respond within the timeframe provided by law, the landlord can then proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit. A landlord must have a court order to complete an eviction.
In Wisconsin, eviction lawsuits are governed by Chapter 799 § 799.40 through 799.45 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
Evictions in Wisconsin are also known as:
- Wisconsin Notice to Quit
- Wisconsin Notice to Pay or Quit
- Wisconsin Notice to Vacate
- Wisconsin Lease Termination
Wisconsin Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for Wisconsin state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
28-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month to month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In Wisconsin, landlords must give tenants 28 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month to month lease.
5-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of a lease with a duration of a year or less. In Wisconsin, landlords must give tenants 5 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem.
30-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of a lease with a duration of more than a year. In Wisconsin, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. In that time, tenants may have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem.
5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant on a lease with a duration of a year or less if the tenant hasn’t paid rent on time. In Wisconsin, landlords must give such tenants 5 days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
30-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant on a lease with a duration of more than a year if the tenant hasn’t paid rent on time. In Wisconsin, landlords must give such tenants 30 days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: also called Forcible Entry and Detainer. (§ 799.40)
- Rent Grace Period: None unless specified in the lease. (ATCP § 134.09(8))
- Non-Payment of Rent Notice: 5-days notice for first violation; 14-days for second violation, if within the same 12-month period. (§ 704.17(2)(a) & 704.17(2)(b))
- Non-Compliance Notice: 5-days notice for first violation; 14-days for second violation that falls within 12-months of the first violation. (§ 704.17(2)(a) & 704.17(2)(b))
- Termination (Month-to-Month Lease): 28 days (§ 704.19(3))
What is the Eviction Process in Wisconsin?
Step 1: Provide written notice
If a landlord wants to evict a tenant in Wisconsin, they are required to provide the tenant with notice as to the potential reason(s) for eviction: non-payment of rent, non-compliance, or termination of a month-to-month tenancy. The notice must be properly served with evidence of the service, such as an affidavit or certified mail receipt.
The tenant has five (5) days to fix the problem, either by payment or curing non-compliance, if they do so the landlord may not proceed with the eviction filing. For a second violation within the same year, the tenant must be given 14-days notice to vacate the premises, but the landlord doesn’t need to give the tenant an opportunity to pay.
Step 2: File for eviction
If the tenant fails to respond by the required time and remains on the property, the landlord files a Forcible Entry and Detainer (eviction) action in the local small claims court where the property is located.
Landlords must file a Summons and Complaint, and state the reason they want the tenant to move out in the eviction complaint. Landlords will also have to complete a Non-Military Service Affidavit and Affidavit of Service of Notice.
The court will set a date for the hearing, return on that date to plead your case to the judge.
Step 3: Serve the tenant
The court will keep the original summons and complaint, and you will have to deliver the copies to a process server to serve your tenant. The tenant must be served at least five (5) days before the court date and may defend themselves by filing an Answer and Counterclaim form.
Step 4: Writ of Restitution
If the court finds for the landlord, it will grant a Writ of Restitution. The landlord must provide this form to the sheriff, who will complete the eviction. The sheriff will have ten (10) days from receiving the Writ of Restitution to evict the tenant.
Related Wisconsin Court Forms
Summons and Complaint (SC-500I): Completed by the landlord and filed with the small claims court.
Declaration of Nonmilitary Service (GF-175): Filed by the landlord accompanying the eviction complaint, to state if a tenant is or is not on active military duty.
Affidavit of Service (SC-5100V): Affirms the proper service of the Summons and Complaint on a tenant.
Answer and Counterclaim (SC-5200V): Tenants may respond to the allegations in the eviction complaint by filing this document with the court. A copy must also be delivered to the landlord.
Writ of Restitution (SC-512): Issued by the court after an eviction lawsuit has been settled in favor of the landlord, allows the sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises.
Eviction Information for Wisconsin Landlords and Tenants
You can only evict a tenant if you have a court order. It’s important to review the applicable laws governing eviction, and speak with a lawyer before proceeding. The Wisconsin courts website provides a Guide to Small Claims Court as well as Basic Steps for Handling Eviction Actions. Some counties also provide specific instructions to filing eviction claims within a particular county, such as Milwaukee County, Dane County, and Brown County.
If you receive an eviction notice, read it carefully to understand the reason for it and if you can cure it. If you want to hire a lawyer and the cost is too expensive, law school clinics and legal aid groups, such as Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare, are available to help and provide information at affordable or no-cost rates. Additional information for tenants can be found at U.S. Hud Resources for Wisconsin.