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Overview of major policy changes in landlord-tenant law with interviews of housing authorities, lawyers, and other experts in the field.

Wisconsin Cuts Rights to Domestic Abuse Victims and Emotional Support Animal Owners

By |January 26th, 2018|Legal News|

The Wisconsin Assembly voted 58-34 to pass a bill (Assembly Bill 771) that severely limits the rights of tenants and makes it harder to catch bad landlords. The two most controversial changes include adding additional procedures to tenants seeking to claim emotional support animals and limiting the housing leeway given domestic abuse victims. The bills focus according the drafter, Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, is to tackle the increasing costs of landlords. The first major change is one that affects domestic abuse victims. “There has been a trend in the Wisconsin State Legislature over the past few sessions that is slowly eroding tenant’s rights in favor of landlord rights — specifically the rights of tenants who are victims of domestic abuse,” said Chase Tarrier, public policy coordinator for End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. Tarrier said the main reason domestic abuse victims stay or [...]

New DC Bill Could Make Things Worse for Homeless Families

By |September 14th, 2017|Legal News|

“There is mold in my unit and in the building. My kitchen has flooded, my hall closet has flooded, and my ceiling has flooded. There is mold growing because no repairs were made in time. I bought rental insurance and put in a claim for the damage from the flooding, but…they can’t get in contact with the landlord.” These are just a few of the obstacles that Mrs. B, a mother of three small children, encountered in Washington, DC’s rapid rehousing program. After a series of miscommunications and confusing regulations in the program, Mrs. B and her family are facing eviction — and homelessness. Tenants in the program have reported unsafe housing conditions from nonworking fire alarms, electricity, and heat, to disturbing pest problems. One tenant had to request an emergency transfer after a rat bit her daughter. On top [...]

What is a Tenant Association?

By |September 9th, 2017|Legal News|

Do you hang out with your neighbors and complain about your landlord? Congratulations, you're already in a tenant association! A tenant association is like a union of renters who band together against landlords. You don't have to have any formal documents or register anywhere - it's just a fancy name for working together to protect your rights. 1. Share Information When working together and sharing information about similar problems, solving the problem becomes a little easier. Are you the only person in your building that is having a roach problem? Are other units also missing smoke detectors? Do you want to prevent a high rise from being built across the street? Power in numbers - you know more as a group and you can do more as group, whether with your landlord or with your neighborhood. 2. Get Problems Fixed [...]

Why Do So Many Landlords Neglect Everyday Apartment Problems?

By |August 7th, 2017|Legal News|

We’ve all experienced it: The broken heater. The leaky tub. The neighbor playing his dubstep-polka records at top volume until 4 a.m. The apartment problem that isn’t an emergency, but drives you bonkers because no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get it fixed. And since no one wants to seem whiney, we don’t even realize just how common it is for tenants to try to get minor issues fixed, only to find it impossible. What’s going on here? It all boils down to incentive. There’s just no motivation for landlords to fix minor problems. It almost always costs you more time and money to hold a neglectful landlord’s feet the fire than just to fix the problem yourself. And landlords know it. Maybe your landlord responds right away and takes great care of the property. But even [...]