Tenant and Landlord Rights

Pursuant to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State of Wisconsin, the City of Waupaca enforces laws related to landlord and tenants. Oftentimes, issues between landlords and tenants arise when the legal rights and obligations are not known by one or more parties. Basic rights and responsibilities include:

  • Condemned properties may not be advertised or rented
    • To request a building inspection or code enforcement please contact John Lust (715.942.9908)
  • Potential tenants have the right to visit a property before renting it
  • Rental agreements are not required to be in writing
    • If a written agreement is used a landlord must provide a copy to the tenant
  • A tenant must provide the landlord with the name(s) of who is paying for the property and who is maintaining it
  • Landlords must notify tenants if they are required to pay utilities and how they will be divided if not individually metered
  • Landlords must provide a total amount for rent and other non-refundable fees
  • Prior to moving in a tenant must be provided a check-in sheet to make comments about any pre-existing defects or damages of the property
    • The tenant has 7 days to return the completed form to the landlord
  • If a tenant fails to provide rent on time or provides only partial rent a landlord has the right to submit a 5 day written notice
    • Tenancy will continue if the amount due is paid within 5 days
    • If at any time within the next 12 months a tenant fails to pay (complete) rent the landlord may then issue a 14 day termination notice
    • A landlord does not have the right to confiscate a tenant’s personal property, turn off utilities, or bar them from the property
    • Rents may be raised on a month to month lease, provided a notice has been given at least 28 days before the next rent is due
      • Rents may not be raised in retaliation
        • This includes complaining about or to the landlord or maintaining legal rights related to tenancy

The complete State of Wisconsin Statute on Landlord and Tenant (Chapter 704) can be found here.

Additional information regarding tenant and landlord rights can be found in the following links:

Additional information and questions relating to Consumer Protection in the State of Wisconsin may be directed to:

Bureau of Consumer Protection

2811 Agriculture Drive PO Box 8911

Madison, WI 53708


Additional information and questions relating to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development may be directed to:

Milwaukee Field Office

310 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 950

Milwaukee, WI 53203