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  • 05/29/2024 10:30 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    By Attorney Heiner Giese, RPA Legal Counsel

    You won’t need to use a notary public anymore when filing documents in court such as an affidavit of service for a notice terminating tenancy or a process server’s affidavit regarding service of a summons and complaint. The current requirements for a “declaration under oath” were replaced effective March 29, 2024 by 2023 Wisconsin Act 245. Here is an explanation from the State Bar of Wisconsin:

    The new legislation permits unsworn declarations to be used in place of affidavits in most civil litigation settings. Specifically, the law amends Wis. Stat. § 887.015. The new law provides that the unsworn declaration must be in substantially the following form:

    I declare under penalty of false swearing under the law of Wisconsin that the foregoing is true and correct.

    Signed on the ___ day of _______[month], ____ [year], at __________ [city or other location, and state or country].

    The newly enacted version of § 887.015 provides that where the law of Wisconsin requires or permits use of a sworn statement (e.g., a notarized affidavit), a declaration under penalty of false swearing may be used instead. The statute identifies five exceptions where an unsworn declaration may not be used, including for a deposition, an oath of office, or a deed or other real estate instrument intended to be recorded.

    The RPA will contact Milwaukee City Attorney Evan Goyke to ask for changes to City forms now requiring a notarization, such as the Property Registration forms.

  • 05/28/2024 8:00 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    HB4768, The Landlord Retaliation Act, is working its way through the General Assembly.

    The purpose for the legislation is to prevent a landlord from retaliating against a tenant who complains about property conditions. That behavior is already prohibited by law, but the advocates of this bill feel the existing law doesn’t sufficiently punish landlords.

    Among a list of triggering actions, the new version states that if a tenant simply requests a repair then a landlord is prohibited from making management decisions like raising rent, refusing to renew a lease or change any term of service for one year after that request is made.

    This is not limited to major maintenance problems. Almost every request for repair could trigger the prohibition. Multiple maintenance requests within a year are not uncommon, so the liability of this bill will often be continuous.

    The biggest problem with the bill is a presumption that the landlord is guilty of retaliation if they make any of the prohibited management decisions within the year after the request for maintenance is made.

    Read the Full Article Here

  • 05/24/2024 12:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

  • 05/21/2024 10:30 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    Learn about Milwaukee County Housing Services new program called LIFT (Landlord Incentives to Foster Tenancy).


    Tuesday, June 18th at 10:00am


    Milwaukee County Housing Services

    600 W Walnut St #100

    Milwaukee, WI 53212

    How to RSVP:

    Email alexi.millard@milwaukeecountywi.gov

  • 05/17/2024 8:00 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $30 billion in renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). This funding will help Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) continue to provide assistance to families and individuals who are in need of affordable housing options.

    [Note: The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee is set to receive over $39 million.]

    Read the Full Article Here

  • 05/13/2024 12:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    By Samuel A Walker, City Assessor

    What is Mass Appraisal?

    • Definition: Mass appraisal is the process of valuing a large number of properties simultaneously.
    • Purpose: To determine property values for taxation, assessment, or other purposes (ex. TIF values).
    • Scope: Typically used for entire neighborhoods or communities.

    Why Use Mass Appraisal?

    • Efficiency: Faster and cost-effective compared to individual appraisals.
    • Fairness: Ensures equitable property valuation.
    • Consistency: Provides consistent valuations for similar properties.
    • Timeliness: Enables regular assessment updates.
    See Full Document Here (PDF)
  • 05/10/2024 12:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    Did you miss the last RPA Landlord Boot Camp in April? Are you wondering when the next one will be so you don't miss out again?

    Or are you like the attendees who attended a Boot Camp, and want to take the next one to make sure you keep your skills sharp?

    Or are you the like the attendees who completed a Boot Camp maybe a year or two ago and really want to "sharpen the pencil"?

    Don't worry! The RPA is working on scheduling the next Landlord Boot Camp for November. So stay tuned!

  • 05/02/2024 12:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday announced new guidelines that aim to apply the provisions of the Fair Housing Act to the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the realm of housing.

    HUD released separate pieces of guidance aimed at applying Fair Housing Act provisions to two key areas of concern in which AI use could impact the fair application of housing services: the tenant screening process and “its application to the advertising of housing opportunities through online platforms that use targeted ads,” HUD said in its announcement.

    Read the Full Article Here

  • 04/23/2024 4:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    How much did assessments increase in Milwaukee in 2024?

    All of the city's 15 aldermanic districts saw assessments rise, though there was quite a range in terms of how much they increased, according to the Assessor's Office.

    At the high end, the assessed value of residential property increased 26.85% in District 1 on the city's north side, while District 4 that encompasses much of downtown and the near west side saw the smallest increase at 14.02%.

    The range depends on the neighborhood and should generally be aligned with other comparable homes in the area.

    Is it possible for an assessment to increase without any upgrades being made to the home? If so, how?

    Yes. Assessments are based on a comparison of homes to similar ones that have sold over the past year. Thus, property owners can see values go up even if they have not made improvements — and even if they don't intend to.

    What is a 'maintenance year' for property assessments and what does that mean for 2024?

    Last year was a "maintenance year," when assessments from 2022 were used and values were updated "when changes warrant," according to the Assessor's Office website. Changes could include new construction, changes in parcel size, remodeling, demolition and more. They do not necessarily result in a change in value.

    In a "revaluation" year like 2024, assessed values for most properties will change.

    "In a revaluation, the assessor looks at the prior years' sales to update assessments citywide, in addition to the property changes and corrections reviewed for a maintenance assessment," the website states.

    How can you appeal your assessment?

    Property owners in Milwaukee have until 4:45 p.m. on May 20 to file an appeal of their assessments.

    The first step to filing an appeal is to contact the Assessor's Office.

    The Assessor's Office can be reached:

    • Online at https://city.milwaukee.gov/assessor
    • By email at assessor@milwaukee.gov
    • Phone from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Questions about appeals and assistance can be directed to 414-286-6565. The Assessor's Office general phone number is 414-286-3651.

    The second step is to request an appeal form and return it by 4:45 p.m. on May 20.

    The office recommends that evidence be submitted with appeals. For residential property owners, that could be a copy of a recent appraisal, recent market analysis from a local real estate agent, photos of the inside or outside of the home showing areas that need maintenance, and photos showing features that weren't part of the home as of Jan. 1 of the current year but that are listed on the Assessor's Office's property record card.

    Read Full Article Here (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

  • 04/16/2024 11:30 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected Legal Action’s bid to make eviction judgments disappear in one year instead of the statutory 10-year retention period.

    The industry and good renters owe a large thank you to Attorney Heiner Giese (RPA - Rental Property Association of Wisconsin), Rick Van Der Leest of the Green Bay and Appleton Associations, and Chris Mokler of the Wisconsin Apartment Association for making this happen. Heiner and Rick received mention by the Court at the hearing today.

    Heiner’s comments:

    Follow the statute: if no money judgment is docketed, then the case goes off CCAP after two years; if a writ was issued then the record is searchable for 10 years. Our goal has always been to encourage nonpaying tenants to move voluntarily, so landlords can dismiss a case without the trauma (for both parties) of having the sheriff do a forced moveout.

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Rental Property Association of Wisconsin, Inc. (Formerly AASEW)
P.O. Box 4125
Milwaukee, WI 53204-7905
Phone: 414-276-7378

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