Wisconsin Apartment Lease Agreement

While Wisconsin laws don’t require leases to be in writing, it’s an excellent way to ensure both parties are on the same page. Still, a Wisconsin apartment lease agreement has multiple laws applicable to it. We examine these laws to ensure you know what to add to your document to make it eligible in a court of law.

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Wisconsin Apartment Lease Agreement

While there are multiple laws you should consider, we look at some of the most prevalent ones in Wisconsin.

Security Deposit

  • Landlords have no limit on how much they can ask for a security deposit.
  • Upon receiving the deposit, they must immediately provide a receipt stating its amount and nature. However, it’s only required by the tenant’s request if they pay via check.
  • Lessors don’t have to bear interest on the deposit and don’t need to keep it separately from other funds.
  • A landlord must return the security deposit with a list of itemized deductions within 21 days of the lease ending.

Entry and Access 

  • Landlords must provide at least a 12-hour notice period to enter the property for maintenance, repair, or inspection purposes.
  • Lessees can’t unreasonably deny their request. Still, landlords can’t use it to harass them. The time they spend at the property should be proportionate to their purpose there.
  • A lessor must visit during reasonable business hours and announce themselves before entering the premises.
  • If there’s an emergency, or the lessor has reasonable cause to believe the property is abandoned, they don’t need to send notice when entering.

Pets Policy 

  • Landlords can allow pets at their discretion and according to the building codes and regulations.
  • They’re allowed to ask for a pet deposit, though it cannot be a non-refundable one.
  • Should tenants have service animals, landlords cannot charge a pet deposit. They also cannot request documentation about the lessee’s disabilities or the service animal’s status. However, they can ask whether it’s a service animal and what tasks it performs if the cause isn’t apparent.


The following disclosures are all necessary for this apartment lease:

  • Check-in Sheet: Landlords must provide new tenants with a check-in sheet. They must complete and return it within seven (7) days of occupying the premises.
  • List of Damages: By the lessee’s request, the lessor must provide a statement detailing all the damages deducted from the previous lessee’s security deposit.
  • Housing Code Violations: If any housing code violations or conditions affect the apartment’s habitability, the lessor must inform the tenant.
  • Agent Identity: The landlord must notify the lessee about the managing agent’s name and address.
  • Non-Standard Rental Provisions: The lessor must attach a specific document to the lease if they want the right to enter the premises for reasons not listed in the State.
  • Lead-Based Paint: Landlords must inform tenants about lead-based paint’s potential hazards. It applies to apartments built in or before 1978.
  • Utilities Disclosure: The landlord must inform the tenant if the utilities aren’t included in the rental amount, and if they’re shared with any other tenants. This must be done before the tenant makes a security deposit and accepts to rent the property.

Other disclosures that may be required depending on specific circumstances are:

  • Code Violation
  • Domestic Abuse Protections
  • Late Fees & bounces checks
  • Asbestos or Mold Disclosure
  • Smoking Disclosure
  • Medical Marijuana Disclosure