What Disclosures do Landlords in Wisconsin Need to Give Tenants?

Learn about the disclosures that landlords in Wisconsin must provide tenants, usually in the lease or rental agreement.

Wisconsin requires landlords to make the following disclosures to tenants, usually in writing and at the start of the tenancy:

Move-in checklist required?

Yes. Tenant has a right to inspect the rental and give landlord a list of defects, and to receive a list of damages charged to the prior tenant. Tenant has 7 days after start of the tenancy to return the list to the landlord. (Wis. Admin. Code § 134.06; Wis. Stat. Ann. § 704.08)

Owner or agent identity:

Landlord must disclose to the tenant in writing, at or before the time a rental agree­ment is signed, the name and address of: the person or persons authorized to collect or receive rent and man­age and maintain the premises, and who can readily be contacted by the tenant; and the owner of the premises or other person authorized to accept service of legal process and other notices and demands on behalf of the owner. The address must be an address within the state at which service of process can be made in person. (Wis. Admin. Code § 134.04)

Nonstandard rental provisions:

If landlord wants to enter premises for reasons not specified by law, landlord must disclose the provision in a separate written document entitled “NONSTANDARD RENTAL PROVISIONS” before the rental agreement is signed. (Wis. Admin. Code § 134.09)

Uncorrected code violations:

Before signing a rental contract or accepting a security deposit, the landlord must disclose to the tenant any uncorrected code violation of which the landlord is actually aware, which affects the dwelling unit or a common area and poses a significant threat to the tenant’s health or safety. “Disclosure” consists of showing prospective tenants the portion of the building affected, as well as the notices themselves. (Wis. Stat. §§ 134.04, 704.07(2)(bm))

Habitability deficiencies:

Landlord must disclose serious problems that affect the rental unit’s habitability. (Wis. Admin. Code § 134.04)

Utility charges:

If charges for water, heat, or electricity are not included in the rent, the landlord must disclose this fact to the tenant before entering into a rental agreement or accepting any earnest money or security deposit from the prospective tenant. If individual dwell­ing units and common areas are not separately metered, and if the charges are not included in the rent, the land­lord must disclose the basis on which charges for utility services will be allocated among individual dwelling units. (Wis. Admin. Code § 134.04)

Disposing of abandoned property:

If landlord intends to immediately dispose of any tenant property left be­hind after move-out, landlord must notify tenant at the time lease is signed. (But landlord must hold prescrip­tion medications and medical equipment for seven days, and must give notice before disposing of vehicles or manufactured homes to owner and any known secured party.) (Wis. Stat. § 704.05(5))

See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.

Also, check your local ordinance for any city or county disclosure requirements. To find yours, check your city or county website (many are listed on State and Local Government on the Net), or contact the office of your mayor, city manager, or county administrator.

Finally, see the Required Landlord Disclosures article for details on federally-required landlord disclosures and other information on disclosures about the rental property.

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