Being a landlord or tenant in Wisconsin comes with rights and responsibilities protected by Wisconsin state law. Rental housing problems can be challenging to navigate, but there are many organizations here to help you. All MKE RHRC co-partners are marked with an asterisk. If you have questions about these resources or need more help, please contact the RHRC at (414) 895-RENT or info@renthelpmke.org

Resources for Tenants
Resources for Landlords
Resources for Community Partners & Service Providers

 

Resources for Tenants

Rent & Energy Assistance

Community Advocates*

Get help solving a problem between landlords and tenants, get repairs done, prevent an eviction, and request rent assistance. Community Advocates also provides outreach to community members experiencing homelessness, administers energy assistance and services for people experiencing domestic violence.

 

Energy Assistance Program

The Energy Assistance Program provides qualified Milwaukee County residents with a one-time, annual payment toward heating and electric bills. The funding pays a portion of energy costs determined by household size, income, and energy costs. The benefit is usually paid directly to the energy supplier.

 

W-2 Emergency Assistance

W-2 agencies offer a one-time payment to help low-income families facing homelessness with a housing or utility bill. To find your W-2 agency: click here.

 

Property Issues

City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services*

The DNS upholds building code and enforces city ordinances that pertain to rental housing units. Contact the DNS to request an inspection of your rental housing unit, get a permit for a property project, or resources for homeowners and renters alike.

 

Lead Paint Booklet

Learn how to protect yourself and your family from the hazards of lead paint from the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Housing Rights

Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

DATCP protects food, fair business practices, agricultural resources, consumers, plants and animals in Wisconsin. This means that they provide protections for tenants, too. Resources relevant to renters include the Consumer Protection Hotline (1-800-422-7128), the Home Ready Reference Guide, and Consumer Complaint Filings.

 

Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council offers programming in the area of housing justice, such as investigative services for people who allege housing discrimination, trainings and technical assistance in fair housing, and outreach and education opportunities.

 

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Tenants are protected by certain rights under Wisconsin state law. Knowing these rights can help tenants take action against landlord harassment. The Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection outlines tenant rights and responsibilities in this document.

 

Relocating

Habitat for Humanity Restore

Find affordably priced home products to furnish your next rental unit.

 

St. Vincent De Paul 

Visit the St. Vincent De Paul thrift stores or request assistance to get home appliances, furniture, and electronics.

 

Tips and Advice

The Tenant Resource Center in Madison provides some useful blog posts related to moving including tips and advice on Landlord References, Moving day, and the housing search.

 

WIHousingSearch.org

Browse affordable rental property listings on WIHousingSearch.org. 

 

 

Eviction

Eviction Sealing Clinic at the Milwaukee Justice Center

The Milwaukee Justice Center holds a free clinic to help tenants remove their eviction records from CCAP (public records of Wisconsin circuit courts). Sealing a record can only be done if the eviction was dismissed. Call the Milwaukee Justice Center to schedule an appointment.

 

Impact Inc.

IMPACT provides a 24-hour central access point for information and assistance to critical community resources that help people regain stability such as those at risk of becoming homeless or those experiencing homelessness.

 

Legal Action of Wisconsin

Free legal aid for low-income tenants facing eviction and tenants experiencing issues with habitability or public housing.

 

Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee

Free legal aid for low-income tenants in Milwaukee County. Legal staff can help you with your security deposit, delayed repairs, lock-outs, and more.

 

Mediate Wisconsin

Free mediation services for landlords and tenants seeking to resolve a dispute outside of court. A neutral mediator will work with the landlord and the tenant to resolve issues like missed rent or other lease violations.

 

Milwaukee Justice Center

A self-help legal center. Speak with an attorney for free legal advice through the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, learn how to file a small claim, and access other legal resources.

 

Renter’s Education

Rent for Success

A free tenant-training program designed to educate and empower renters to make safe, healthy choices in their housing, and to provide helpful resources if anything does go wrong with an arrangement.

 

Rent Smart Training

Rent Smart is a free six-session research-based course that helps renters find and keep safe and affordable housing. The course is offered every month on Zoom and program participants earn a Rent Smart Certificate, which many landlords view favorably.

 

Tenant Resource Center

The Tenant Resource Center operates in Madison, WI, but they provide valuable resources online on renting in Wisconsin. Download sample letters to improve your communication with your tenant or landlord and learn about Wisconsin housing law.

 

Tenant Source Book

An online manual for tenants that provides information on various issues and offers tips for renting wisely from Legal Action of Wisconsin.

 

Resources for Landlords

Financial Assistance

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The CFPB provides consumer education and resources to help you maintain your mortgage for both owner-occupants and multi-family unit owners. Learn more about mortgages, forbearance and other options.

 

Social Development Commission – Weatherization Program

Apply for financial assistance to help pay for energy-saving projects in your home, such as wall insulation, furnace repair, and boiler repair.

 

Take Root Milwaukee  

Provides information and connections to mortgage assistance and home/property repair resources. Mortgage Assistance Information: click here. Home/Property Repair Resources: click here

 

Property Management

Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin (AASEW)

Become a member of the AASEW and join a monthly conversation on the rental housing business. The AASEW provides education, legislative support, and networking opportunities for landlords.

 

City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services*

The DNS upholds building code and enforces city ordinances that pertain to rental housing units. Contact the DNS to request an inspection of your rental housing unit, get a permit for a property project, or resources for homeowners and renters alike.

 

Lead Paint Booklet

Learn how to protect yourself and your family from the hazards of lead paint from the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Fair Housing: A Guide for Owners & Managers of Rental Property

This guide serves as an overview of fair housing laws for anyone in the business of providing rental housing.

 

Landlord Training Program

The Department of Neighborhood Services holds an award-winning, free landlord training regularly. Apply on the phone or via email, instructions here.

 

Milwaukee Justice Center

A self-help legal center. Speak with an attorney for free legal advice through the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, learn how to file a small claim, and access other legal resources.

 

Preprinted rental forms

Wisconsin Legal Blank offers various blank legal forms for rental transactions, including applications, agreements, addendums, work orders, and rental signage.

 

Pesticide Use Guidance

If you’re a landlord or property manager who uses pesticides on your rental property, reference this PDF guide to ensure that you’re following Wisconsin’s pesticide regulations.

 

Take Root Milwaukee  

Provides information and connections to mortgage assistance and home/property repair resources. Mortgage Assistance Information: click here. Home/Property Repair Resources: click here.

 

WIHousingSearch.org

List your rental unit for free on WIHousingSearch.org. Register as a property owner or manager here.

 

Tenant Relations

Community Advocates*

Get help solving a problem between landlords and tenants, get repairs done, prevent an eviction, and request rent assistance. Community Advocates also provides outreach to community members experiencing homelessness, administers energy assistance and services for people experiencing domestic violence.

 

Mediate Wisconsin

Free mediation services for landlords and tenants seeking to resolve a dispute outside of court. A neutral mediator will meet with the landlord and the tenant to resolve issues like missed rent or other lease violations.

 

Tools for Communicating with Residents

The National Multifamily Housing Council put together this collection of templates to help landlords communicate with residents about COVID-19 eviction prevention.

Resources for Community Partners & Service Providers

Eviction Prevention Tips for Service Providers

This PDF is a tool for emergency assistance providers. Learn how to effectively engage your clients to prevent eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Impact Inc.

IMPACT provides a 24-hour central access point for information and assistance to critical community resources that help people regain stability such as those at risk of becoming homeless or those experiencing homelessness.

 

Rent Smart Training

Rent Smart is a free six-session research-based course that helps renters find and keep safe and affordable housing. You can request a “train the trainer” session in order to provision the Rent Smart course.