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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Madison Housing Ordinances: How will SB 107 impact students?

October 31, 2011 8:51 PM

Tomorrow, the Wisconsin State Assembly will do a third reading of Senate Bill 107, a bill that prohibits Wisconsin cities from placing certain limits on landlords. In all likelihood, the bill will pass without any significant changes.

This bill essentially ends what has been described as a positive working relationship between landlords and tenants for the city of Madison. For over 25 years members of the City Council have been actively protecting its citizens from predatory practices. Many of these policies have been through a collaborative effort with landlords and property managers, justifying these ordinances as good business measures and often resulting in a better relationship with tenants. However, members of the state legislature have decided to interject in these local matters.

SB 107 will inhibit (among other thing) the following Madison housing ordinances:

Apartment showings

  • Prohibiting landlords from showing apartment for re-rental until one-fourth of the lease term has passed. MGO 32.12(8)
  • Requires landlords to give tenants at least a 24-hour notice before showing an apartment. MGO 32.05(1)(d)
  • Entry for the purposes of showing an apartment will be limited to a three day period and three hours per day. MGO 32.05(1)(e)


Renter's Protections

  • Denying tenants solely because they do not make three times the amount of their income in rent, or apply any other minimum income standards that do not allow for a tenant to show that they have made a similar amount of income in the past and have paid a similar amount of income with that rent. MGO 32.12(7)
  • Various protections from banning tenants based on a criminal record. MGO 39.03(4)(d) 


Security Deposits

  • Required check-in and check-out forms MGO 32.07(5)(d)
  • Limiting a security deposit to one month's rent. MGO 32.07(2)(b)
  • End mandatory interest on security deposits. MGO 32.07(3), FO 28.06(3)
  • Banning  the practice of collecting a security deposit from both a tenant and a subleasing tenant. MGO 32.07(2)(d)
  • Required itemized list of deductions from the security deposits that includes receipts, estimates and hours and wage rates charged for damages and cleaning. MGO 32.07(7)(b)
  • Additionally disappointing, SB 107 will end the ordinance that requires landlords to provide photos for any deductions from a security deposit that are photographable. MGO32.07(7)(b)


So what are students on campus to do? There is a movement to start requesting property managers and landlords to voluntarily agree to continue upholding these practices. I applaud these efforts to look for a creative solution to this destructive and counterproductive legislation. As renting season begins, ask your future property manager if they will be adhering to previous ordinances and will they continue to uphold more than 25 years of renter protections.  

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