Know your rights: rental issues in winter months

Your landlord has to meet certain expectations in the winter. Here's what you need to know.

Know your rights: rental issues in winter months
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Landlords are required to keep the indoor temperature at a minimum of 67 degrees, according to the Tenant Resource Center. If this isn’t happening, the Tenant Resource Center advises tenants to contact their landlords in writing. If that doesn’t work, the center recommends contacting the local building inspection office.  

If the heat in your unit isn’t working, the Tenant Resource Center recommends following the repair process. See Wisconsin's here and City of Madison and Fitchburg here.

In Wisconsin, courts are not allowed to restrict evictions during the winter. Here are the key things to know about eviction in Wisconsin, according to the Tenant Resource Center:

  • A tenant can only be forced to leave after a court date is scheduled and only if the judge rules in the landlord’s favor.
  • A judge’s order must be given to the sheriff who would remove the tenant from the residence.
  • A landlord cannot change locks, throw away possessions, or take any other action without the court order.
  • A sheriff is the only person who can physically remove a tenant.

Review the Tenant Resource Center’s website for more detailed information on evictions. Additionally, here’s how you can help those facing eviction in Dane County.

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