Locked Out: How sweeping changes to Wisconsin landlord-tenant laws affect vulnerable populations
Changes to landlord-tenant state laws over the last several years have made it easier for landlords to evict tenants. Several Madison residents are struggling to navigate a tight rental market and an ever-changing set of laws governing the relationship between landlords and tenants. More than 100 changes to the landlord-tenant law have been passed since 2011 by Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Legislature. The law have sped up the eviction process, made it easier to evict tenants, and have allowed landlords greater power to look into tenant’s credit and criminal histories. The laws have also pulled back local control, so cities have less power to dictate landlord requirements. Groups like undocumented residents, students, and victims of domestic violence have been most affected by these laws, making them more susceptible to eviction and landlord abuse. Even though there are some state and federal tenant protections for victims of domestic violence, victims don’t always know their rights or how to enforce them. Justice Castañeda and Revel Sims are both quoted in this article. Castañeda discusses how Commonwealth Development works hard to keep tenants in their apartments. This article outlines the difficulties that many tenants encounter while renting not only in the Madison area, but in the state of Wisconsin as well. The complete article can be found at The Cap Times website.