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Wisconsin Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Whether you’re a landlord in Madison with some rowdy Badgers in your house or you’re renting a place in Milwaukee and can’t get the superintendant to fix the heat in your apartment, knowing your rights under Wisconsin’s landlord-tenant regulations can save you from a lot of stress down the line. Here is a quick introduction to leases and rental agreements under Wisconsin law.

Leases and Rental Agreement Law

All states have some system of lease and rental agreement laws that regulate the landlord-tenant relationship at the state level. These laws typically dictate what to do when a lease runs out and the kinds of discrimination that are prohibited. A few states have additional tenant rights laws that can protect tenants in certain disputes regarding notice, altering the premises, and evictions.

Leases and Rental Agreements in Wisconsin

While Wisconsin lease and rental agreement laws do not cap security deposits, there are strict controls on the amounts that a landlord can withhold, the reasons for withholding, and the time requirements for return. Landlord-tenant laws can vary from state to state; Wisconsin’s lease and rental agreements laws are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

106.50; 704.01, et seq.

Terms of Leases

Landlord may elect to hold tenant to month-to-month basis on holdover, unless the lease for weekly or daily rent




No discrimination on basis of race, sex, color, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, income source (lawful), age, ancestry; housing for older persons exempted

Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted?


Wisconsin law also ensures that tenants have the right to exclusive possession of the premises, so long as they are not in default on their rent payments. There are exceptions for reasonable repairs, showing to future tenants, and emergency situations. And while tenants are not allowed to make any physical changes in the nature of the premises (including decorations) without prior consent from the landlord, they are permitted to remove any fixtures they installed, if the tenant restores the premises to the prior condition.

Related Resources for Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

State real estate laws can be complicated and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw’s Leases and Rental Agreements section for additional articles and resources on this topic. You can also contact an experienced Wisconsin landlord-tenant attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities or discuss a lease or rental agreement matter.

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