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Get informed about eviction notices in Wisconsin and protect your rights as a tenant. Know the specific procedures for a legal eviction!

Customized for WisconsinThis document may be legally binding in Wisconsin according to your state specific regulations.
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The Wisconsin eviction notice is a legal document used by landlords to initiate the process of eviction against tenants who have violated the terms of their lease agreement. 

The notice is typically issued when a tenant has failed to pay rent on time or has engaged in criminal activities on the property. It may also be issued if the tenant is not complying with other important provisions of the lease agreement.

The purpose of the Wisconsin eviction notice is to give the tenant a specific amount of time to correct the issue, such as by paying overdue rent or ceasing illegal activities. If the tenant fails to correct the issue within the given time frame, the landlord may start the court eviction process.

Types of Eviction Notice in Wisconsin

When facing issues with tenants in Wisconsin, landlords should be familiar with the different types of eviction notices available to them.

Short-Term Lease

Wisconsin law stipulates that for monthly, weekly, and yearly leases, landlords must issue tenants an eviction notice within five days, allowing them to remedy the violation or vacate the property.

Long-Term Lease

If the lease is for a period longer than a year and the tenant violates the lease by not paying rent or breaching any other term, the landlord will give the tenant an eviction notice within 30 days to cure the violation or vacate the property.

Second Contract Violation

If the tenant cures the first contract violation by paying the rent or fixing any other breach of contract but violates the lease again within a year, such as by not paying rent or breaching another term of the lease, the landlord will give the tenant an eviction notice with 14 days to vacate the property.

Criminal Activity

In the event that the landlord discovers that certain criminal activity, such as drug activity, is occurring on the leased property, the landlord will notify the tenant with an eviction notice, in which case the tenant will have five days to vacate the property.

Periodic Leases

If the lease is monthly or yearly and the landlord does not wish to renew it upon expiration before the end of the lease period, the landlord will give the tenant 28 days to vacate the property.

Eviction Laws and Requirements in Wisconsin

Laws & Requirements

  • Short-Term Lease (less than one year): 5 days for non-payment of rent or any other breach of contract. (704.17(1p)(2))

  • Long-Term Lease (longer than one year): 30 days for non-payment of rent or any other breach of contract. (704.17(3))

  • Second Violation: 14 days to vacate the property for another violation of the contract within a year. (704.17(1p)(2))

  • Criminal Activity: 5 days to vacate the property. (704.17(3m)(b))

  • Periodic Leases: a 28-day notice of eviction. (704.19(3))

When is Rent Late in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant typically specifies the due date for rent, and rent is considered late if it is not paid on that date.

On the other hand, a landlord must give a tenant at least a 5-day written notice to pay rent or vacate the premises before pursuing legal action for nonpayment of rent.

Grounds for Eviction in Wisconsin

Some of the main grounds for eviction in Wisconsin are the following:

Ground for Eviction

  • When the tenant fails to pay rent on time and does not respond to a 5-day notice to pay or vacate the premises.

  • When the tenant violates a term of the lease agreement.

  • If the lease agreement has expired and the tenant has not vacated the premises or renewed the lease.

  • Engaging in illegal activity on the rental property, such as drug use or distribution.

  • Creating a health or safety hazard on the rental property by the tenant.

Eviction Process in Wisconsin

Typical steps in Wisconsin's eviction procedure include:

#1. Write a Notice

When a landlord believes that a tenant has violated the lease agreement, they are required to inform the tenant of the violation through an eviction notice. The notice should specify a deadline by which the tenant can remedy the violation or, if it is a non-remediable violation, vacate the property.

#2. File the Complaint

If the tenant fails to comply with the eviction notice, the landlord must take the next step, which is to fill out the necessary court forms, complaints, and summons, for which they must pay a fee. 

#3. Serve the Tenant

The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant at least five days before the hearing by a Wisconsin citizen who is at least 18 years old and who is not a party to the eviction proceeding.

#4. Wait for the Court’s Judgment

If the court finds that the eviction is justified, the landlord will be able to evict the tenant with an Order and a Writ of Restitution.

Other Eviction-Related Forms in Wisconsin

Alongside the eviction notice, various forms are employed by the parties involved in the eviction procedure, namely:

Other Eviction-Related Forms

  • Summons and Complaint (SC-500I. This document includes information on the landlord and the tenant, the reason and basis for the eviction, the location and time of the first hearing, and instructions to the tenant on how to answer the claim.

  • Declaration of Nonmilitary Service (GF-175). This form serves as a confirmation of the tenant's military status (whether or not he is active in the army).

  • Answer and Counterclaim (SC-5200V). This document serves a dual purpose—not only can the tenant use it to respond to and argue against the landlord's claims (answer), but he may additionally state his claims against the tenant (counterclaim).

  • Affidavit of Service (SC-5100V). This form serves as confirmation that the claim and summons have been delivered to the tenant in an orderly manner and must be signed in the presence of a notary public.

  • Writ of Restitution (SC-512). After a decision in favor of the landlord, if the tenant has not left the property, the form is provided to the sheriff. The sheriff is then obligated to undertake the required actions, ensuring the tenant and their belongings are removed from the premises within ten days of receiving the writ of restitution.

Eviction Information for Landlords in Wisconsin

Following the Wisconsin law-set procedure is essential for a landlord's success in the eviction process. This means that the first and necessary step in evicting a tenant from the premises is serving an eviction notice, which must include a deadline for the tenant to correct the issue and continue the lease. 

Only if the tenant fails to remedy the situation can the landlord file an eviction complaint and wait for the court judgment.

On the other hand, self-help methods, such as changing the locks and cutting off the electricity, water and gas that force a tenant to vacate the property without proper legal procedure, are strictly prohibited.

Eviction Information for Tenants in Wisconsin

As a tenant in Wisconsin, it is important to be aware of your rights when it comes to the eviction process.

The law sets out different timelines for eviction notices depending on the reason for the eviction, giving tenants a specific timeframe to vacate or remedy the issue. 

Along with these timelines, tenants are also protected by the procedures that must be followed before an eviction can take place, meaning they cannot be forcibly removed from their rental property.

During the eviction process, tenants have the right to remedy any violations within the timeframe specified in the eviction notice, and if they believe there is no violation, they can present evidence in court after being served with a complaint and summons.

How to Write an Eviction Notice in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Eviction Notice Checklist

Wisconsin Eviction Notice FAQ

  • You can file an eviction notice if you believe there has been a violation of the lease agreement by the tenant, whether it be late rent payments, the discovery of criminal activities, or other violations.

  • An eviction notice is necessary in Wisconsin to legally resolve issues with the tenant, either by the tenant remedying the violation or by vacating the property. If the tenant does not comply with the eviction notice, you can initiate a court proceeding for eviction.

  • It depends on the circumstances of the case. If the tenant fails to appear in court and present evidence that the lease agreement has not been violated, the eviction process can be completed within a week.

  • No, a 3-day eviction notice is not legal. Wisconsin law recognizes 5-day, 14-day, 28-day, and 30-day eviction notices.

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