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Common Reasons Why Your Landlord Can Evict You in Wisconsin

Evicted Lady
As a tenant, you should know that your landlord cannot evict you without going through a certain process. Nor can they do other things in order to constructively evict you or make you want to leave. However, they do have rights if you fail to abide by your rental agreement. Here is more information on what landlords can evict you for as well as defenses.

Landlords Can Evict You for the Following Reasons

Landlords can evict you for both a good cause or for no reason at all, except in certain specific circumstances (such as civil rights discrimination). Some of the more common reasons that your landlord can evict you for include:

For Lease Violations

If you have a legally-sound lease or rental agreement, and you violate any part of it, then the landlord can evict you. Examples of a lease violation include keeping a pet when you agreed that no pets were allowed, having people living with you without landlord approval, or you are causing an excessive disturbance (like playing loud music late at night). However, in most cases, the landlord must give you time to remedy the situation and make things right before they can begin to evict you, usually five days, before giving you notice to leave.

For Illegal Activities

Landlords can evict you if law enforcement informs them that you have been engaging in illegal activity in your unit or on their property. This includes activities such as drugs, prostitution and gang-affiliated activity by anyone in your household. The landlord must give you a five-day notice to quit. However, you will not be able to remedy the issue. After the five days have passed, then you will be given a notice to vacate and be subject to eviction proceedings.

For Non-Payment of Rent

Failure to pay your rent on time is a major reason for a landlord to give you notice, especially if you haven't lived there very long or you've been habitually behind on your payments. You will have five days to either come up with the money or work things out with your landlord. After that, you may still be subject to eviction proceedings even if you have caught up with your payments. You will have 14 days to vacate the property before the landlord takes you to court.

For No Specific Reason or to Sell or Rent the Property to Someone Else

The landlord is allowed to evict you simply because he or she wants to rent to another tenant (or move back in), sell the property or change its use. However, because this type of eviction is without cause, they must wait until your lease ends before they can give you notice. Unlike other types of eviction, the amount of time that you are given is much longer. If you have a lease, then they must give you a 28-day non-renewal notice. If you're a month-to-month tenant, then you will have 30 days notice.

Defenses to Eviction

You may have some defenses to being evicted and while you are fighting your eviction. While you are working things out with your landlord or the court, you will likely be able to stay in your unit. Some of the defenses include:
  • You paid your rent on time or within the five day notice time period. If you have a five-day notice, make sure you get a time-stamped receipt when you make a payment.
  • The landlord failed to maintain or repair the property. You have the right to withhold part of the rent if you find your resident in disrepair, but you can't hold all of it back. You may be allowed to break your lease and move out. If you stay, you will need to go to court to get the repairs done.
  • You are being evicted because of discrimination such as having young children, being disabled, or being of a certain race, religion, or sexual orientation.
If you are having problems with your rental and your landlord is threatening to evict you, then you should contact an attorney who knows the tenant laws in Wisconsin. Contact the law offices of Gabert, Williams, Konz & Lawrynk LLP to discuss your problems and see if they can help you.