Tenants To Be Held Responsible Even For Unpreventable Events


Tenants could be evicted when crimes occur on their property even if they could not have prevented them under a bill poised to pass in the Wisconsin Assembly.

The provision is one of many in a broad landlord-tenant bill that also makes it easier for landlords to dispose of a tenant’s unclaimed property, tow cars and potentially keep building code violations a secret. Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison) singled out the provision involving crimes.

“We’re saying ‘Good luck to you when you rent an apartment, because something could happen there that ends up landing you out on the street – and maybe even in court – based on something you had nothing to do with.’”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sponsor Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) says the provision was copied from federal laws governing low-income housing. He told reporters if someone feels they’re wrongly evicted they can and should fight it in court.

“And that judge has to determine, ‘Is this valid? Is there truly a connection between what went on over here and this occupant being in the building?’”

Democrats were able to delay the plan last night but GOP lawmakers will likely pass it when they reconvene in early June, if not sooner.