Landlords Close to Getting More Power to...

Posted at 6:56 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 19:56:37-05

A bill expanding landlord rights is on its way to Governor Walker's desk. It would allow landlords to evict a tenant more quickly if criminal activity is believed to be occurring.

If you rent and your landlord suspects criminal activity going on, you might just have five days to vacate your home. That's the proposal that waits for Governor Walker’s signature.

It wouldn't matter if anyone at your home was arrested or convicted of the crime, the landlord would simply need suspicion and in turn would have to prove it to a judge that they believe something illegal is going on at their rental property.

"The tenants’ rights are not being curtailed. They still have the full due process rights to contest the conviction in the court. It's a judge that ultimately decides if the eviction is warranted not the landlord,” says Green Bay Attorney David Daul.

But not everyone thinks that's enough justification, to kick renters out.

"Five days isn't long enough. I think it would be impossible for most families because they have to worry about five days from now having to find a warm place for their children to sleep at," adds Wise Women Gather Place Executive Director Alice Skenandore.

Some women advocacy groups also cite problems with the potential bill that would subject victims of crimes to being kicked out for merely being a victim of circumstance. Adding that people who aren’t involved in criminal activity, but perhaps have a significant other who is, might just subject them to being evicted.

Traditionally landlords would have to wait until a tenant broke an agreement on their lease to evict them which could take a month or more to play out. This proposed bill would give landlords basically instant results after proving to a judge the activity is likely taking place.