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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.

Last Update May 16th, 2022

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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.

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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