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Tristan’s Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

Archive of: Rental Documents

What Is The Difference Between a Rental Agreement, a Lease, and a Month to Month Tenancy

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Rental Agreements, Rental Documents / Comments

A question that I am often asked is what is the difference between a rental agreement, a lease, and a month to month tenancy. I will do my best to explain.The "Real World" AnswerA "Rental Agreement" is the general term that is used to cover all types of rental tenancies. A rental agreement includes a lease and a periodic tenancy (such as a month to month tenancy). ...

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More New and Revised Landlord Forms Available at Wisconsin Legal Blank

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Rental Documents, Wisconsin Legal Blank / Comments

I have recently completed drafting some new landlord forms which are now available at Wisconsin Legal Blank, including:1. Smoking Policy Addendum (Form 982) - This form may be used when a landlord wants to prohibit smoking on the rental premises or only allow smoking in specific location/s of the rental premises. This form also sets forth the terms, conditions and rules related to any smoking prohibition or restriction ...

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New & Revised Landlord-Tenant Forms Available at Wisconsin Legal Blank

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Notices, Rental Agreements, Rental Documents, Wisconsin Legal Blank / Comments

As a result of 2015 Act 176 becoming law earlier this month it became necessary to draft and/or revise some of the landlord-tenant forms sold at Wisconsin Legal Blank Co., Inc.As of March 24th the following revised or new forms will be available at WLB:5 Day Notice To Vacate for Criminal Activity or Drug-Related Criminal ActivityThis new notice may be served on a tenant, under any tenancy, if ...

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If You Allow Your Tenant To Keep A Pet Then You Should Be Using a Written Pet Agreement

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Rental Documents, Pets / Comments

In talking with my clients and potential clients over the past year, I have also noticed that more and more landlords are allowing tenants to keep pets. I am not sure if this is because of the many pet owners that were also homeowners that have since lost their homes to foreclosure and have been forced to become renters or if it is because landlords are trying to be more ...

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The 10 Deadly Sins: 10 Provisions That Landlords Cannot Include in Their Wisconsin Residential Rental Agreements

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Rental Agreements, Rental Documents, Act 143 (Landlord's Omnibus Law), Act 76 (SB 179) / Comments

With the passage of Act 143 (2012) and Act 76 (2014) the legislature has created several new provisions that a Residential Landlord cannot include in his Rental Agreement. There are currently 10 items, which I affectionately refer to as the "10 Deadly Sins" that if they are included in your Wisconsin residential rental agreement will render the agreement void and unenforceable.In my representation of landlords over the past 20 ...

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Revised Wisconsin Legal Blank Forms Will Be Available on Monday, February 17th

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Legislation, Rental Agreements, Rental Documents, Act 76 (SB 179), Wisconsin Legal Blank / Comments

As I hope most of you are aware, Wisconsin passed a new law that will great affect landlord-tenant law - Act 76. Whenever the law is changed, there is usually a need to revise and/or update your rental documents to comply with the law. That is definitely the case with the changes from Act 76.As such, I have had to update many of the rental documents that are ...

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New & Improved Nonstandard Rental Provisions Form Available at Wisconsin Legal Blank

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Caselaw, Rental Documents, Nonstandard Rental Provisions, Wisconsin Legal Blank / Comments

As many of you know, I draft the various landlord-tenant law forms that are sold at Wisconsin Legal Blank Co., Inc. In light of the recent court of appeals decision (Keyes & Gruner v. Waldbillig et. al) that I referenced in an earlier ...

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Court of Appeals Decision Reminds Landlords To Review Their Nonstandard Rental Provisions Before Making Deductions from A Tenant's Security Deposit

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Caselaw, Rental Documents, Security Deposit, Nonstandard Rental Provisions / Comments

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision dated May 9, 2013, held that a landlord wrongfully withheld a portion of his tenants' security deposit for costs incurred when attempting to re-rent the rental unit.As I have mentioned in a prior post, Wisconsin law essentially allows a landlord to deduct only three things from a tenant's security deposit: (1) damage, waste, or neglect, (2) rent, (3) utilities.  Any other items ...

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Top 10 Pitfalls That Landlords Should Avoid

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in AASEW, Notices, Screening Tenants, Rental Agreements, Rental Documents, CCAP, Seminars, Property Management, Rejecting Rental Applicants / Comments

Those of you that missed the last AASEW membership meeting on Monday, April 15, 2013, missed a great meeting and a great presentation.  The featured presenter was John "Dr. Rent" Fischer, a Wausau-area landlord and rental property manager, who spoke to a packed house that Monday.  John's presentation was dynamic, educational and at times pretty darn funny.With John's permission, I am providing you with a link to ...

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So Are Illegal Provisions In Wisconsin Residential Rental Agreements Severable Or Not?

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Legislation, Rental Agreements, Rental Documents, Act 143 (Landlord's Omnibus Law) / Comments

  SHORT ANSWER:  Yes . . . and No.LONG ANSWER:   The newly passed law referred to as the Landlord's Omnibus Law (Act 143) adresses this issue but provides contradictory answers.In newly created sec. 704.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes, the law states quite clearly that the provisions of a rental agreement or lease are severable.  Specifically, it states that if any ...

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