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Governor signs landlord-tenant law


MADISON (WSAU) Governor Scott Walker has signed what his office called “reasonable changes” to Wisconsin’s landlord-tenant laws. But critics say it scales back tenants’ rights. The Republican Walker signed that measure and 18 others in a private ceremony in Madison yesterday.

Under the new law, landlords can deduct money from a renter’s security deposit for unpaid utility-and-rental payments. Landlords can assume that all personal property left behind by tenants was abandoned and can be disposed of. Medical items are the only exceptions. Tenants would get a check-in sheet when they move in, to vouch for a detailed description of their home’s condition. And they’d have to notify landlords in writing about any repairs or maintenance that’s needed before they can complain to government officials. Also, local governments cannot block tenants from being evicted.

Milwaukee Senate Democrat Chris Larson says the new law takes away power from both renters and local officials and it quote, “tilts the balance in favor of irresponsible landlords.”