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Wisconsin Laws to Know Before Investing In Rental Real Estate

Landlord-Tenant Law Book on a Desk with a GavelWhen most beginning Oak Creek investors start thinking about securing a single-family rental property, what customarily comes to mind are the operational aspects of the investment: finding tenants, managing property maintenance, and collecting rent. What you may not assess and know is that there are equally a very surprising range of law and legal matters that relate to buying and leasing rental homes.

Even while plenty of federal laws will deal with rental properties nationwide, a lot of the laws that you have to be aware of are those on the books of your state, county, or even city. With regards to this, it’s necessary to do your research and get a very clear knowledge of these laws before you set out to get an investment property.

Real Estate Agency and Licensing Law

One of the really crucial people on your investing team is your real estate agent. The laws that govern the relationship between an agent and their clients differ from state to state. As an investor, it’s a great idea to ascertain what your real estate agent can and cannot legally do, from disclosures to acting in a dual agency capacity.

But certainly, don’t just assume that real estate agents are always well-versed and experienced in property management laws. You should, on top of everything else, have a great understanding of the procedures required by Wisconsin for getting and keeping a real estate license and carefully check to see to it that your agent’s license is current and in good standing.

Transfers of Ownership

Another state-specific set of laws you should be familiar with are those engaged in voluntary and involuntary ownership transfers. Voluntary transfers of ownership are those that come into being when a rental property is bought or purchased. Moreover, there are definitely quite a few differences among state laws in reference to who will handle the transfer (your real estate agent or an attorney, for example), whether title insurance is required, who pays which closing costs, and who owns the property on the day of closing.

Having said that, you should certainly strive to learn your state laws about involuntary ownership transfers. These transfers usually befall when the heirs of a deceased property owner inherit the property. Assimilating these laws can help you map out and make the process effortless whether you inherit property or leave your property to someone else.

Limitations on Use

In a great number of states, local regulations will guide how a property owner may capitalize on their property. Zoning ordinances, deed restrictions, historic preservation programs, and environmental review laws can all limit how a property owner may employ their land or structures.

As an investor, it’s relevant to discover any local ordinances that may come up against your ability to renovate or lease the property you choose to buy. You should be on top of everything especially if any occupancy laws will impact your plans to use the property as a rental.

Fair Housing and Others

There are federal, state, and even a few local laws intended to protect tenants’ rights and prevent discrimination. So while being aware of your federal tenants’ rights laws is great, you must grasp well whether your state has supplemented those laws with stricter versions of their own. You should indeed check earnestly for any rent control policies that may apply, both current and those most likely to be enacted in a very short time.

Being aware of your local Landlord/Tenant laws and habitability standards will help determine and ensure you manage your investment property meticulously and correctly. Tenants’ rights laws can cover a mind-boggling array of things, from security requirements to frequency and notification about rent increases.


Perceiving all of the significant laws in Wisconsin can be a lot of work, and on this account, it makes total sense for plenty of rental property investors to hire Oak Creek property management experts instead. At Real Property Management Greater Milwaukee, we completely understand all the ins and outs of state and federal laws and can always make certain that your investment properties are leased and managed in accordance with those laws. Call today at 262-309-6961.

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