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Wisconsin Tenant-Landlord Law

by Jean-Raphael Decaux


Security Deposits

  • Maximum amount landlord can charge: No maximum.
  • Returning the security deposit: Landlord has 21 days to return the security deposit. ( Civ. Code §§ 134.06 (2))
  • Bank account requirements: No law requiring landlords to keep security deposits separate of other funds.
  • Security deposit interest: Landlords are not required to pay any interest on security deposits. (source p.4)
  • Receipt of Deposit: Landlord is required to provide a written receipt of the deposit if it is paid in cash or request by tenant. (Civ. Code §§ 134.06(4))

Rent and Late Fees

  • Rent increase notice: At least 28 days’ notice must be given except all agricultural from year-to-year require at least 90 days notice. (Civ. Code 704.19 (3))
  • Late Fees: Landlord may charge a late fee if the tenant does not pay within 5 days that rent is due. ( Civ. Code 704.90 (4b) (a))
  • Late Fees Maximum: A late fee of $20 or 20% of the monthly rent is presumed reasonable. (Civ. Code704.90 (4b) (b))

Notices and Entry

  • Termination of month-to-month lease: 28 days (Civ. Code §§ 704.19(3))
  • Termination of any other rent: Notice to the rent paying period is sufficient.
  • Required notice before entry: Unless otherwise agreed between the tenant and landlord the required amount of time is 12 hours. (Civ. Code §§ 704.05(2)
  • Entry during tenants absence: If the landlord believes entry is necessary to preserve or protect the premise, the landlord may enter without notice. ( Civ. Code §§ 704.05(2))
  • Tenant allowed to make repairs and deduct rent: No law
  • Pre-existing damages: Landlord must provide a list of physical damages or defects within 30 days of receiving the request from the tenants.( Civ. Code §§ 134.06(1)(b))


  • Information check-in sheet: Landlord must provide a new tenant a check-in inspection sheet to be completed within 7 days. (§§ 704.04(8)
  • Check-in procedures: Tenants have 7 days to inspect the property and report any previous damages.
  • Abandoned personal property: Landlord may dispose of abandoned property. (§§ 704.05(5)(a)).

Eviction Laws

  • Notice to terminate week-to-week lease for non-payment: Landlord may terminate tenancy 5 days after giving notice. (§§ 704.17(1))
  • Notice to terminate month-to-month lease for non-payment: Landlord may terminate tenancy 14 days after giving notice. (§§ 704.17(1))
  • Notice to terminate yearly lease for non-payment: Landlord may terminate tenancy 14 days after giving notice. ( §§ 704.17(2)(b))
  • Notice to terminate for non-payment lease lasting longer than 1 year: Landlord may terminate tenancy 30 days after giving notice. (§§ 704.17(3))

For more information on Wisconsin Landlord Tenant laws please visit their website here.