Friday, February 10, 2012

TWO new anti-tenants' rights bills being circulated at the state capitol

Thought SB 107 was bad? Meet LRB 2098 and LRB 3645. These bills target tenants' rights in state law. Brenda Konkel explains their potential effects:

If LRB 2098
- Landlords would be able to evict tenants for any "criminal activity" that includes any act or behavior that is punishable in the state by a fine or period of imprisonment OR is a violation of an ordinance of the county, city, village or town where the rental property is.

- The tenants would be given a 5-day notice, with no right to "cure" or fix the problem
- - if the criminal activity has taken place in the rental unit
- - is caused by the tenant, a member of the tenant's household, an invited guest, or an associate of the tenant on any property owned by the landlord
- All the landlord has to prove in court is that there is an allegation of such activity
- After the tenant has been evicted, they may still have to pay rent until someone new moves into the unit.
- It requires law enforcement agencies to notify landlords when they are investigating an alleged nuisance on the landlord's property, so there may not be an actual nuisance, just an investigation of one and someone could be evicted for that allegation.

Examples of who could be evicted based on an accusation, with no right to cure:
- Victims of domestic violence, rape, stalking, assault, battery, theft, burglary, etc
- Tenants who have friends or family members who commit a crime on the landlord's property, even if the property is in another town or city or on the other side of town and you have no knowledge of the activity.
- People who get tickets for littering, noise, speeding, parking violations, not wearing a seat belt, not getting a license for your cat or bike or protesting at the capital

If LRB 3645 passes...
- Remove the right of local cities and counties from prohibiting landlords from evicting under certain circumstances (i.e. winter)

- If a landlord gets caught with an illegal provision in their lease, only that provision is voided, not the entire lease overturning Baierl vs. Mc.Taggart

- If you leave any property behind when you move out, the landlord may sell it or throw it out without notification to you, unless you agreed to something different in writing. And then, they can charge you for any costs involved.

- Removes repair disclosure protections - no longer able to get double damages court costs and attorney fees.

- Mandatory double the daily rent if you stay past the date of a 5 or 14 day notice or end of your lease.

- Removes double damages, court costs and reasonable attorney fees for failure to return security deposit - a tenant can only get single damages.

- Allows a landlord to take any money out of your security deposit that you 'agree to' in a non-standard rental provision. Including flat fees and charges that would currently be illegal.

- Allows landlord to collect your rent after you have fallen behind and still seek an eviction even if you are paid in full.