Wisconsin state has various laws regarding the use of rental applications. If your document is not compliant with WI law, you may get sued by the applicant and face other legal consequences.
According to (ATCP 134.05 (4)) WI landlords may only charge a maximum fee of $20 to cover any credit and background checks. This must be requested in advance of the checks being carried out.
Wisconsin doesn’t set any limits on how much you can charge as a security deposit. However, it is recommended not to charge more than 1-2 months’ rent for this amount.
The tenant will be permitted 7 days to inspect the property for any existing damage and report them to the landlord from the move-in date. Additionally, under (ATCP 134.06 (2)) this amount must be returned 21 days (minus any deductions if necessary) after the tenant has vacated the property.
Housing Discrimination Law
In Wisconsin, there is no specific state law relating to housing discrimination. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is in place. The FHA states that it is illegal to discriminate based on the following characteristics:
As a consequence, you are not allowed to ask for any of these details on a Wisconsin Rental Application form. You also may not use any of these as criteria in the decision-making process.
Notice of Eligibility
Potential tenants must be informed about the screening criteria and reasons for denial or approval. To prove that these facts were shared, a signature of acknowledgment must be provided within the application or alongside it.
Consent Credit Check
Within Wisconsin, federal law is in effect that requires potential renters to provide written consent for a credit history check during the application process. This is known as the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Additionally, under WI law a copy of any reports carried out must also be provided to the tenant.