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Free Wisconsin Residential Lease Agreement Form

Start a comprehensive and legally binding Wisconsin lease agreement to rent real estate you own to one or more tenants. Get guidance on each step and expert tips with the help of our contract maker.

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Last Update May 16th, 2023

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What is a Wisconsin Residential Lease Agreement

A standard lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant. This is written to conform to state laws where the property is located. In Wisconsin these allow both parties to comply with a series of set terms for a specified number of months or years.

Rental contracts and lease agreements have a lot of similarities as they both set out payment plans and the terms of use for a house or apartment. However, the big difference is the duration that they cover. Rental agreements usually only cover short-term tenancies of a few months at a time or month-to-month contracts.

A lease agreement should contain the following details:

  • How long the tenant may legally reside in the property

  • How much rent should be paid

  • Information about the security deposits necessary

  • When rental installments are due

  • Any additional costs that must be serviced by the tenant

  • The rules regarding the proper use of the property

  • Situations that constitute lease violation eviction procedures

Types of Wisconsin Lease Agreements

There are many types of Wisconsin lease agreement forms that can be used to manage and legally bind many different types of rental situations. They allow landlords to rent out various types of property they might have and for tenants to find the best kind of tenancy for their needs.

The most common types of lease agreements in Wisconsin include:

  • Standard residential lease agreements: Under a standard lease agreement both the landlord and tenant commit to a fixed set of terms that last for a series of months or years.

  • Lease-to-own lease agreements: Lease agreements with options to purchase are designed for tenants that wish to buy the property they are renting. This requires them to pay a sum of money each month, in addition to rent, to cover the costs of the principal.  

  • Month-to-month rental agreements: Month-to-month lease agreements will often have similar basic terms to standard residential lease contracts. However, they differ as they can be renewed or ended on a month-by-month basis. Their terms may also be flexibly altered each month. 

  • Commercial lease agreements: Commercial leases are provided by landlords of retail property to tenants that intend to use the real estate to run a business.

  • Room rental agreements: In rental properties with shared living areas a room rental agreement can be used to rent a singular bedroom. 

  • Sublease Agreement: A/an Wisconsin sublease agreement allows tenants to reassign or ‘sublease’ the property to another individual. This requires the property landlord’s permission and must be specifically allowed in the original lease.

Wisconsin Lease Addendums and Disclosures

Wisconsin lease agreements must contain a few disclosures and addendums when they are completed and signed. This is to properly inform the tenant of any health risks or potential issues with the property or details about how the property is managed that they must be aware of. 

These essential addendums include the following: 

  • Lead paint disclosure: If the rental unit is in a building constructed before 1978, the landlord or their agent must disclose whether lead paint can be found on the property and must provide safety information for any located on the premises. 

  • Water, heat, and electricity: If the rental payments do not include water, heat, or electricity, then this information must be stated in the lease. 

  • Agent/owner identification: The lease agreement must include a section or an addendum that discloses the contact information of the landlord or a chosen agent who will act on their behalf.

  • Landlord’s address disclosure: The agreement must contain a section or addendum that informs the tenant of the contact information of the main person who can be called upon for any repairs or issues with the property. This may be the landlord or someone appointed to act on their behalf.  

Wisconsin Lease Agreement Laws

A WI lease agreement must be written and signed within the laws of Wisconsin state, otherwise, it will be legally contestable and can be declared invalid and block either party from recourse if a violation is committed. These will police how you start and end the contract and control what procedures you can reasonably ask a tenant to follow.

The most important laws to consider when you are renting a property in Wisconsin include:

  • Security deposits: There is no maximum on how much Wisconsin landlords may charge as a security deposit if the property is a non-rent control unit. This must be returned to the tenant within 21 days of vacating the property and returning the keys. Landlords must also give advance notice of any deductions.

  • Landlord’s right to enter: Landlords can enter the rental property by giving 24 hours’ advance notice (a written notice is recommended). However, 48 hours’ notice is required before the landlord may enter to give the final inspection before the tenant moves out.

  • Move-in checklist: Tenants must be provided with a rental inspection checklist when moving into the property.

  • Further contact details: If the property is managed by anyone other than the landlord, tenants must be provided with their contact details so communications to the landlord can be properly handled.

Check the Wisconsin landlord-tenant regulations to learn more about the rights and responsibilities of both parties during a lease agreement. 

Wisconsin Residential Lease Agreement Sample

Before beginning the process of creating a residential lease agreement in Wisconsin it is sensible to review an example document first. Use our WI lease agreement sample below to find out more about the structure and contents of a fully-fledged rental contract.

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FAQs About Wisconsin Lease Agreement

It is important to carefully prepare a WI lease agreement to suit the needs of the landlord and tenant exactly. To help demystify the process a little simply review our FAQs below to learn more about the specificities of rental contracts in Wisconsin.

What Are the Advantages of a Written Lease?

It’s important to have a written WI lease agreement in operation whether you are a landlord or a tenant. There are many advantages to having a formal contract for a rental property such as the right to recourse if the terms are violated and the protection of important legal rights for rental property owners and residents.

When Can a Landlord Change The Lease?

Usually, a Wisconsin lease agreement cannot be changed once it is signed. Its terms will remain fixed until it reaches its agreed expiration date or it is terminated due to a violation by either party. 

With a rental agreement or month-by-month tenancy, however, the terms of the agreement can potentially be changed each rental period. This means the landlord can amend or end the terms of the contract every 30 days if they wish.

Do I Need to Notarize my Wisconsin Residential Lease Agreement?

It is not necessary to notarize a WI residential lease agreement. However, whilst this might not be a legal requirement in Wisconsin state, signees are still advised to consider this step to provide further legal enforceability.

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Preview of your Wisconsin Residential Lease Agreement

WISCONSIN
RESIDENTIAL LEASE AGREEMENT
This Lease Agreement (the "Agreement") is made and entered on _________ (the "Effective Date") by and between _________ (the "Landlord") and the following tenants:

_________
(hereinafter, the "Tenant(s)").

The Landlord and the Tenant(s) agree as follows:
1. PROPERTY

The Landlord, in consideration of the lease payments provided in this Agreement, leases to the Tenant(s) a house located at _________, _________, Wisconsin _________ (the "Property"). No other portion of the building wherein the Property is located is included unless expressly provided for in this Agreement.
2. TERM

The term of the Lease Agreement begins on _________ (hereinafter, the "Commencement Date"), and shall continue from that date as a month-to-month tenancy.

Either party may terminate the tenancy by giving written notice of intention to terminate the tenancy at least 28 days prior to the intended termination date.

Such notices may be given on any date.

The Tenant(s) shall vacate the Property upon termination of the Lease Agreement, unless:

(i) The Landlord and the Tenant(s) have, in writing, extended this agreement or signed a new agreement.
(ii) Mandated by local rent control law.
(iii) The Landlord accepts Rent from the Tenant(s) (other than past due Rent), in which case a month-to-month tenancy shall be created which either party may terminate.

All other terms and conditions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.
3. MANAGEMENT

The Tenant(s) is hereby notified that the Owner or Landlord _________ is the Property Manager in charge of repairs or maintenance of the Property.

If the Tenant(s) has any complaint regarding any issue about the Property, _________ shall be contacted by one of the following methods:
Address: _________
Telephone: _________
Email: _________
4. RENT

The Tenant(s) shall pay the Landlord monthly rent in the amount of $_________ (hereinafter, the "Rent") for each full month during this lease. The full month's rent is due and payable not later than the 1st day of each month. If that day falls on a legal holiday, the Rent is due on the next business day.

The Landlord may increase the Rent at the end of the initial lease term by giving the Tenant(s) at least a 28 days written notice.
Place of Payment:

The Tenant(s) shall remit all Rent payment amounts owed to the Landlord under this Lease Agreement to the following address:

_________

The Landlord may later change the person and place to which the Tenant(s) must remit the rental amounts due under this Lease Agreement.
Method of Payment:

The Tenant(s) shall pay Rent by selecting any of the following forms of payment (select one or more):
If the Landlord agrees that the Tenant(s) shall have the right to sub-let the Property or any part thereof, or if that the Property is leased under any form of multiple or joint tenancy, the Tenant(s) shall be responsible for collecting the lease payment from the sublessee(s) or joint lessee and submitting it to the Landlord in a single and complete payment.

Moreover, the Tenant(s) shall be responsible for any lease payment not received by the Landlord by the due date stated in the present Lease Agreement. All partial payments made for an incomplete monthly period shall be pro-rated at the rate of 1/30th of the monthly lease payment per day.

Lastly, the Landlord shall have the option to accept or reject payments made by third parties, but such acceptance or rejection of payment shall not imply a future obligation to accept or reject payments submitted by third parties.
5. OCCUPANTS

During the term of this Lease Agreement, the only individuals permitted to reside on the Property are the following:

_________

The Tenant(s) may not allow any guest to stay on the Property longer than _________ consecutive days or _________ days in a calendar year. The Tenant(s)'s guests shall not be considered original occupants of the Property under any circumstances.

The amount of time the Tenant(s)'s guests may stay on the Property may never be longer than the time permitted by any owners' association rule or restrictive covenant or _________ consecutive days or _________ days in a calendar year, without Landlord's written permission, whichever is less.
6. PARKING

Parking spaces for motor vehicles or motorcycles are not provided nor permitted on the Property under this Lease Agreement.
7. PETS / STRAYS

No animal or pet shall be kept, permanently or temporarily, on or about the Property, even temporarily or with a visiting guest. As provided by law, a Service Animal(s) is not considered a pet, and every individual with a disability shall have a right to have a Service Animal(s) on the Property.

Any animal discovered on or around the Property will be considered a stray. Strays shall not be kept or fed in or about the Property. All strays will be reported to the proper authorities and removed at the Tenant(s)'s expense.
8. SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed in or on any area of the Property, including individual units and common areas, both indoors or outdoors. This policy applies to tenants or guests. This restriction includes the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.

If the Tenant(s) contravenes this provision by smoking or allowing guests to smoke in any place on the Property, then such Tenant(s) shall be held liable for any damages caused to the Property. The violation of this provision shall be considered a just cause for the eviction of the Tenant(s) by the Landlord.
9. MAINTENANCE

The Landlord will have the responsibility to maintain the Property in good condition at all times and perform all repairs reasonably necessary to meet the implied warranty of habitability of the Property, that is, that the Property is in a safe and livable condition.
10. REPAIRS

All requests for repairs must be in writing and delivered to the Landlord. The Tenant(s) may call the Landlord only in the event of an emergency related to the condition of the Property that materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant.

The Tenant(s) may not repair or cause to be repaired any condition, regardless of the cause, without the Landlord's permission. All decisions regarding repairs, including the completion of any repair, whether to repair or replace the item and the selection of contractors, will be at the Landlord's sole discretion.

In an emergency, the Tenant(s) may make any repairs or replacements without prior written consent from the Landlord and at his expense. However, if such repairs or replacements are unsatisfactory and cause additional damages, the Tenant(s) shall reimburse the Landlord for the cost of making such repairs.

The Landlord shall have a duty to do all of the following:

(i) Keep in a reasonable state of repair portions of the Premises over which the Landlord maintains control.

(ii) Keep in a reasonable state of repair all equipment under the Landlord's control necessary to supply services that the Landlord has expressly or impliedly agreed to furnish to the Tenant(s).

(iii) Make all necessary structural repairs.
11. UTILITIES AND SERVICES

The Tenant(s) shall be solely responsible for and shall pay expenses for all utilities and services used or consumed at the Property.
12. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

The Tenant(s) shall not keep or have on the Property any article or item of a dangerous, flammable, or explosive material that might unreasonably increase the danger of fire or explosion on the Property or that might be considered hazardous or extra hazardous by any responsible insurance company.
13. DISPOSITION OF PERSONALTY LEFT BY THE TENANT(S)

Under Wisconsin Revised Statutes section 704.05(5), if the Tenant(s) removes from or is evicted from the Premises and leaves personal property, the Landlord may presume, in the absence of a written agreement between the parties to the contrary, that the Tenant(s) has abandoned the personal property and may, subject to applicable law, dispose of such property in any manner that the Landlord, in its sole discretion, determines is appropriate.

If the Landlord disposes of the property by private or public sale, the Landlord may send the proceeds of the sale minus any costs of sale and any storage charges if the Landlord has first stored the personalty to the department of administration for deposit in the appropriation under Wisconsin Revises Statutes section 20.505 (7) (h).

If the personal property that the Tenant(s) leaves behind is prescription medication or prescription medical equipment, the Landlord shall hold the property for 7 days from the date on which the Landlord discovers the property. After that time, the Landlord may dispose of the property in the manner that the Landlord determines is appropriate, but shall promptly return the property to the Tenant(s) if the Landlord receives a request for its return before the Landlord disposes of it.

Notice by the Landlord required if the property is a manufactured home, mobile home, or a vehicle.

The Landlord's power to dispose of the Tenant(s)'s property as provided hereto applies to any property left on the Premises by the Tenant(s), whether owned by the Tenant(s) or by others.
14. POSSESSION OF THE TENANT(S) AND ACCESS BY THE LANDLORD

The Tenant(s) has the right to exclusive possession of the Premises until the expiration date specified in this Lease Agreement, so long as the Tenant(s) is not in default, except as otherwise provided in this provision.

Under Wisconsin Revised Statutes, section 704.05(2), the Landlord may upon advance notice and at reasonable times inspect the Premises, make repairs and show them to prospective tenants or purchasers; and if the Tenant(s) is absent from the Premises and the Landlord reasonably believes that entry is necessary to preserve or protect the Premises, the Landlord may enter without notice and with such force as appears necessary.

Except in case of emergency, the Landlord will give the Tenant(s) reasonable notice of intent to enter. For these purposes, a twenty-four (24) hour notice will be deemed reasonable.
15. LANDLORD INDEMNITY

Unless an event giving rise to liability is caused by the Landlord, the Landlord shall not be responsible for any damage, injuries, or losses to the person or property of the Tenant(s), the Tenant(s)'s family, guests, invitees, or agents, caused by fire, flood, water leaks, ice, snow, hail, winds, explosion, smoke, interruption of utilities, theft, burglary, robbery, assault, vandalism, other persons, condition of the Property, environmental contaminants such as carbon monoxide, asbestos, radon, lead-based paint, mold, fungus, etc., or other occurrences or casualty losses. The Tenant(s) hereby explicitly agrees to indemnify, defend and hold the Landlord harmless from any and all claims or assertions arising from every kind and nature of event mentioned above.

Unless prohibited by law, the Tenant(s) shall promptly reimburse the Landlord for any damages, injuries, or losses to person or property caused by the Tenant(s) or the Tenant(s)'s guests, any pets or assistance animals, including the cost of repairs or service to the Property.
16. ASSIGNMENT/SUBLETTING

The Tenant(s) shall not, without the prior written consent of Landlord, which may be withheld at the Landlord's sole discretion, voluntarily or involuntarily assign, this Lease Agreement or any interest herein or sublet the Property or any part thereof.

The Tenant(s) is specifically prohibited from offering all or part of the Property for short-term rentals such as through Airbnb, VRBO, or other such sites or programs. Any advertising or online postings, as well as actual rentals of the Property to vacation or short-term guests, shall constitute a material breach of this Lease Agreement.

Any person who is not the Tenant(s) who occupies any portion of the Property, for any period of time whatsoever, for any compensation or consideration whatsoever (including, without limitation, the payment of money and/or trade and/or barter of other goods, services, or property occupancy rights) is NOT a guest, and such occupancy constitutes unauthorized subletting or assignment which is a substantial and material breach of this Lease Agreement.
17. TENANT PROTECTION FROM DOMESTIC ABUSE AND EARLY TERMINATION OF TENANCY FOR IMMINENT THREAT

Please take notice that under Wisconsin Statutes section 106.50 (5m) (dm), the tenant has a defense to an action for eviction brought by the Landlord if the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the landlord knew or should have known any of the following:

(i) That the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking and that the basis for the action for eviction is conduct that related to the commission of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking by a person who was not the guest of the tenant.

(ii) That the tenant is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, that the basis for the action for eviction is conduct that related to the commission of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking by a person who was the guest of the tenant, and that the tenant has done one of the following:

a. Sought an injunction enjoining the person from appearing on the premises.
b. Upon being notified in accordance with the law provided a written statement to the landlord indicating that the person will no longer be a guest of the tenant and has not subsequently invited the person to be a guest of the tenant.

Please also take notice that under Wisconsin Statutes section 704.16(1)(a) and (b)1., a residential tenant may terminate his or her tenancy and remove from the premises if:

(i) The tenant or a child of the tenant faces an imminent threat of serious physical harm from another person if the tenant remains on the premises.

(ii) The tenant provides the landlord with notice in the manner provided under section 704.21 with a certified copy of an injunction order.
18. NOTICES

Notice under this Lease Agreement will be given in accordance with the applicable statute. All other notices shall be deemed sufficient if made as follows:

1) All notices to the Landlord shall be directed by personal delivery or first-class mail to the Landlord at the appropriate address set forth below, until the Tenant(s) is notified, in writing, to the contrary.

2) All notices to the Tenant(s) shall be directed by personal delivery or first-class mail to the Tenant(s) at the Leased Property or any forwarding address provided in writing by the Tenant(s) to the Landlord.
Landlord:

_________
_________
Tenant(s):

_________
_________, _________, Wisconsin _________
Such addresses may be changed from time to time by any party by providing notice as set forth above.
19. GOVERNING LAW

This Lease Agreement shall be governed, construed, and interpreted by the Laws of the State of Wisconsin.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Landlord and the Tenant(s) have executed this Lease Agreement in the manner prescribed by law as of the Effective Date.
Tenant:

By: ____________________________ Date: ______________
      _________
Wisconsin Lease Agreement
Inspection Checklist
Address: _________, _________, Wisconsin _________

The Tenant(s) has inspected the Property and states that the Property is in satisfactory condition, free of defects, except as noted below:
SATISFACTORYCOMMENTS
Bathrooms  __________________________________
Carpeting  __________________________________
Ceilings  __________________________________
Closets  __________________________________
Countertops  __________________________________
Dishwasher  __________________________________
Disposal  __________________________________
Doors  __________________________________
Fireplace  __________________________________
Lights  __________________________________
Locks  __________________________________
Refrigerator  __________________________________
Screens  __________________________________
Stove  __________________________________
Walls  __________________________________
Windows  __________________________________
Window coverings  __________________________________
___________________________________________
___________________________________________



_____________________

Date

Tenant:

By: ____________________________ Date: ______________
      _________
Acknowledged by Landlord:

By: ____________________________ Date: ______________
      _________
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