State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 704 > 704.05


704.05 Rights and duties of landlord and tenant in absence of written agreement to contrary.


(1) When section applicable. So far as applicable, this section governs the rights and duties of the landlord and tenant in the absence of any inconsistent provision in writing signed by both the landlord and the tenant. This section applies to any tenancy.


(2) Possession of tenant and access by landlord. Until the expiration date specified in the lease, or the termination of a periodic tenancy or tenancy at will, and so long as the tenant is not in default, the tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises, except as hereafter provided. The landlord may upon advance notice and at reasonable times inspect the premises, make repairs and show the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers; and if the tenant 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.


(3) Use of premises, additions or alterations by tenant. The tenant can make no physical changes in the nature of the premises, including decorating, removing, altering or adding to the structures thereon, without prior consent of the landlord. The tenant cannot use the premises for any unlawful purpose nor in such manner as to interfere unreasonably with use by another occupant of the same building or group of buildings.


(4) Tenant's fixtures. At the termination of the tenancy, the tenant may remove any fixtures installed by the tenant if the tenant either restores the premises to their condition prior to the installation or pays to the landlord the cost of such restoration. Where such fixtures were installed to replace similar fixtures which were part of the premises at the time of the commencement of the tenancy, and the original fixtures cannot be restored the tenant may remove fixtures installed by the tenant only if the tenant replaces them with fixtures at least comparable in condition and value to the original fixtures. The tenant's right to remove fixtures is not lost by an extension or renewal of a lease without reservation of such right to remove. This subsection applies to any fixtures added by the tenant for convenience as well as those added for purposes of trade, agriculture or business; but this subsection does not govern the rights of parties other than the landlord and tenant.


(5) Storage or disposition of personalty left by tenant.


(a) Procedure. If a tenant removes from the premises and leaves personal property, the landlord may do all of the following:


1. Store the personalty, on or off the premises, with a lien on the personalty for the actual and reasonable cost of removal and storage or, if stored by the landlord, for the actual and reasonable value of storage. The landlord shall give written notice of the storage to the tenant within 10 days after the charges begin. The landlord shall give the notice either personally or by ordinary mail addressed to the tenant's last-known address and shall state the daily charges for storage. The landlord may not include the cost of damages to the premises or past or future rent due in the amount demanded for satisfaction of the lien. The landlord may not include rent charged for the premises in calculating the cost of storage. Medicine and medical equipment are not subject to the lien under this subdivision, and the landlord shall promptly return them to the tenant upon request.


2. Give the tenant notice, personally or by ordinary mail addressed to the tenant's last-known address, of the landlord's intent to dispose of the personal property by sale or other appropriate means if the property is not repossessed by the tenant. If the tenant fails to repossess the property within 30 days after the date of personal service or the date of the mailing of the notice, the landlord may dispose of the property by private or public sale or any other appropriate means. The landlord may deduct from the proceeds of sale any costs of sale and any storage charges if the landlord has first stored the personalty under subd. 1. If the proceeds minus the costs of sale and minus any storage charges are not claimed within 60 days after the date of the sale of the personalty, the landlord is not accountable to the tenant for any of the proceeds of the sale or the value of the property. The landlord shall send the proceeds of the sale minus the costs of the sale and minus any storage charges to the department of administration for deposit in the appropriation under s. 20.143 (2) (h).


3. Store the personalty without a lien and return it to the tenant.


(c) Rights of 3rd persons. The landlord's lien and power to dispose as provided by this subsection apply to any property left on the premises by the tenant, whether owned by the tenant or by others. That lien has priority over any ownership or security interest, and the power to dispose under this subsection applies notwithstanding rights of others existing under any claim of ownership or security interest. The tenant or any secured party has the right to redeem the property at any time before the landlord has disposed of it or entered into a contract for its disposition by payment of the landlord's charges under par. (a) for removal, storage, disposition and arranging for the sale.


(d) Other procedure. The remedies of this subsection are not exclusive and shall not prevent the landlord from resorting to any other available judicial procedure.

704.05 - ANNOT.

History: 1993 a. 374, 486; 2001 a. 16; 2003 a. 33; 2005 a. 253.

704.05 - ANNOT.

Any act of the landlord that so interferes with the tenant's enjoyment or possession of the premises as to render them unfit for occupancy for the purposes for which they were leased is an eviction releasing the tenant from the obligation to pay rent. First Wisconsin Trust Co. v. L. Wiemann Co. 93 Wis. 2d 258, 286 N.W.2d 360 (1980).

704.05 - ANNOT.

An allegation in a lessee's complaint that the premises were undamaged did not relieve the lessor of the burden to prove damages. Rivera v. Eisenberg, 95 Wis. 2d 384, 290 N.W.2d 539 (Ct. App. 1980).

704.05 - ANNOT.

Landlords' liability for defective premises: caveat lessee, negligence, or strict liability? Love, 1975 WLR 19.