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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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Housing Rights Under Attack... Again

April 30, 2013 8:40 AM

Student housing rights are under attack once again by state legislature. In 2011, Act 143 was passed by the state legislature to "standardize" housing laws across the state. In the aftermath, City ordinances that were designed to protect student renters were nullified by the state, such as requiring photographic evidence for security deposit deductions and required 24-hour notice before showing an apartment.

Round two of attacks have been introduced with LRB 1931/2: Relating to miscellaneous provisions related to rental and vehicle towing practices, prohibitions on enacting ordinances that place certain limitations or requirements on landlords. 

Via Brenda Knokel of the Tenant Resource Center, here is the list of Madison ordinances the bill could eliminate:

1. Landlord Registration
2. Landlords won't have to tell new tenants that they have the right to abate rent due to previous tenant calling the building inspector.
3. Landlords won't have to notify tenants of the occupancy limits in the apartment.
4. Landlords won't have to tell tenants that they can't get the off-street parking permits, they will just find out when they move and and try to get one from the city and the city tells them no.
5. Landlords won't have to disclose what kind of minimum income standards they are applying or what information a tenant would need to provide to demonstrate how they can comply with the rules.
6. Landlords will no longer be required to tell you why you are denied housing.
7. Landlords will no longer be required to provide a phone number for the tenants to call.
8. May limit what building code violations landlords are required to disclose, including heat.
9. Landlords will no longer have to disclose conditions that create an unreasonable risk of personal injury.
10. Landlords will no longer have to have written guest policy.
11. Landlords will not longer have to give out the "Tenants' Rights and Responsibilites" brochure.
12. Removes 5% limit on late fees.
13. Landlords no longer have to provide receipts and estimates for items deducted from the security deposit.
14. Landlords would no longer be required to list the hours worked or amount paid per hours when deducting from security deposits.

Cities, not the State government, should be making decisions pertaining to housing. Many of these ordinances were created out of a safety necessity and a protection from absentee landlords. I hope leaders within ASM take note - the state government could move quickly and these rights could be gone before anyone has a chance to organize. 

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