August is one of the busiest moving months of the year, between new jobs and college students, and it’s important that first time renters know their rights.
State consumer protection administrator Michelle Reinen says one vital thing to do before you sign that lease is to go over it very carefully.
“You want to read it, understand it, and then keep a copy of it should you encounter any problems or discrepancies down the road.”
One vital thing that a landlord needs to provide is the contact information for your maintenance person.
“When it comes to the toilet backing up and the plunger isn’t enough to solve the problem, you should be calling maintenance, and that’s what you also need documented: who you contact when there is a problem.”
Reinen says you should also be taking pictures of your rental before you move everything in for future reference on the security deposit.
“If there’s a hole in the wall behind the door, be sure that that’s on your check-in sheet. And what can often accompany a check-in sheet is you going the extra step by taking photographs of the property.”
The state has a handy booklet on your rights as a tenant and renter in Wisconsin. You can find that online at DATCP’s website.