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Portland Landlord Sentenced to Jail For Apartment Fire That Resulted In The Death of Six Tenants

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Landlord Liability / Comments

There has been a lot of news reports lately about fires in rental buildings. Recently there was the Oakland, California "Ghost Ship" fire that killed 36 people. Just a few days before that fire, a landlord was sentenced to serve time in jail as a result of one of the deadliest fires in 4 decades in Portland Maine. This was the first jail sentence for a ...

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Public Housing Advocates Take Issue with HUD's Memo Regarding the Use of Criminal Backgrounds In The Tenenat Screening Process

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. / Comments

The Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA), a public housing advocacy group comprised of chief executives of public housing authorities, has published a very detailed and well reasoned letter attacking HUD's recent memo regarding landlords use of rental applicants criminal background in the tenant screening process.If you are would like to learn more about HUD's April 4, 2016 memo drafted by its Office of General Counsel (OGC) you should ...

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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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AASEW's Fall Landlord Boot Camp Announced - October 29, 2016

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in AASEW, Seminars, Landlord Boot Camp / Comments

The AASEW's Fall Landlord Boot Camp has recently been announced. This will be the 14th Boot Camp.This Boot Camp will be a very important one as I will be covering two new topics that are very important.1. We will discuss the new Landlord Tenant Law (Act 176) and its effects including the "crime-free" provisions, and2. We will discuss HUD's new directive regarding the use of an applicant's criminal history in ...

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HUD Issues New Guidelines On The Use of Criminal Records In The Rental Screening Process

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Fair Housing / Discrimination, Screening Tenants / Comments

On April 4, 2016 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dropped a bombshell on owners and managers of residential rental properties in the U.S.HUD's Office of General Counsel published a 10 page guide entitled "Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real-Estate Related Transactions." This guide essentially changes the rules as we ...

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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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ACT 176: Governor Signs New Landlord-Tenant Bill Into Law

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Legislation, Act 176 / Comments

On Monday, February 29, 2016 Governor Scott Walker signed a new landlord-tenant law bill into law. The new law entitled 2015 Wisconsin Act 176 ("Act 176") was published on March 1, 2016 and went into effect the following day - Mach 2, 2016 - which means I am late in drafting this blog post since the new law is almost 1 week old already.The passage of Act ...

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Landlord Boot Camp Is Just Around The Corner - February 20, 2016

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in AASEW, Seminars, Landlord Boot Camp / Comments

The AASEW's (Early) Spring Landlord Boot Camp is just around the corner. Can you believe that this will be our 13th Boot Camp seminar? Landlording can be pretty complex, with a seemingly never ending myriad of paperwork, rules, landlord-tenant laws and simple mistakes that can cost you thousands. In fact as we speak a new landlord-tenant bill is being debated in Madison.The Apartment Association of Southeastern ...

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The Nuts and Bolts of Emergency Assistance Stays

Posted by Tristan R. Pettit, Esq. in Evictions, Emergency Assistance / Comments

I recently had a client call me and advise that they received an Emergency Assistance letter and other documents from UMOS (one of the agencies that administer E.A. funds) for a client that they were in the process of evicting. Unfortunately, I had to advise the client that merely by the tenant having applied for Emergency Assistance, the eviction action would have to be "stayed" (i.e. delayed) per Wisconsin ...

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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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