A Wisconsin lease agreement is a document that lets a tenant enter into a contract so they can live at a landlord’s property temporarily. It contains information like the name and address of the tenant and landlord, the address of the property, the length of the lease, pet allowances, safety disclosures, and rent payment specifics.
Rent Control: No
Limit on Late Fees: No
Late Fees in Rental Agreement: Yes
Grace Period: Yes
License Required for Landlord: No
Required Lease Disclosures
The Wisconsin Civil Code outlines the following disclosures:
- Disclosure of Lead-Based Hazards: All Wisconsin landlords of any building constructed before 1978 must notify all tenants of the potential existence of lead-based hazards (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852d).
- Rental Inspection Checklist: Landlords must provide all tenants with a rental inspection checklist upon moving into the premises. The tenant has seven (7) days from the move-in date to complete the checklist (§ 704.08).
- Notice of Abandoned Personal Property: If a tenant abandons personal property and leaves it at the property, a landlord, may at his or her sole discretion, dispose of the property. It is common practice to notify the tenant before disposing of any property (§ 704.05(5)(a)).
- Code Violations: Building code violations that could affect the quality of the living situation (§ 134.04(2)).
- Identification of Landlord or Authorized Agents: Their contact information and the contact information of any managers with access to the premises (§ 134.04(1)).
- Utility Charges: The division of utility charges if the property doesn’t have separate meters for different tenants (§ 134.04(3)).
No Wisconsin law sets a limit on which landlords may request from their tenants as a security deposit.
Landlords must return a tenant’s security deposit within twenty-one (21) days of either the termination date of the agreement or the date a new tenant’s tenancy begins (ATCP § 134.06(2)).
Before a landlord accepts a security deposit, a tenant is afforded at least seven (7) days after the start of the rental agreement to inspect the premises for any damages or defects and request a list of damages or defects charged to the previous tenant’s security deposit (ATCP § 134.06).
There is no statutory requirement for the location of security deposits, but landlords may want to place security deposits in a separate account in a financial institution and give the name of the financial institution holding the security deposit to the tenant.
Landlord Right of Entry
Wisconsin landlords may enter the premises to inspect, make repairs, and show the premises to prospective tenants or buyers if advance notice is provided to a tenant and at reasonable times. (Wis. Stat. § 704.05(2)). The law does not specify the amount of notice required, but it should generally be at least twelve (12) hours.
Emergency entry by a landlord is allowed without any notice if the tenant is not present at the premises.
Wisconsin landlords cannot refuse to end a lease or shorten a lease term due to a tenant being a victim of documented sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence or abuse (Wis. Stat. § 106.50(5m)(dm)).
A landlord and tenant may terminate a rental contract if a tenant or child of the tenant is facing imminent threat of serious physical harm if the tenant remains on the property (Wis. Stat. § 704.16).
Small Claims Court
The maximum amount a tenant can sue a landlord for in small claims court is $10,000 (Wis. Stat. § 799.01(d)).
Download our Wisconsin residential lease agreement as a PDF or Word file to create customized terms for your rental property: