City News

As renting laws shift, resource center hosts tenant-landlord seminars

Students can learn about the leases they sign through the Tenant Resource Center.

Tenant-landlord laws change a lot in Wisconsin. An upcoming seminar wants to keep the community up to date.

The Tenant Resource Center will be hosting seminars next week to educate the community on renting laws. Those events will take place at the Dane County Job Center on Oct. 25-26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The seminars will focus on several elements of rental agreements, including earnest money, problems during tenancy, repairs, ending a lease, eviction, small claims court and security deposits.

Tenants, caseworkers, advocates, property owners and managers and law enforcement officers are encouraged by TRC staff to attend. The seminars “are useful for anyone who deals with questions about rental housing from either the consumer or provider perspective,” according to their website.

Ald. Zach Wood, who represents a downtown district close to campus, told the Daily Cardinal security deposit law, evictions and repairs are key topics students should be informed on.

“It’s always beneficial for students, and all renters for that matter, to know their rights and responsibilities,” Wood said.

Wood has led efforts on a city subcommittee to establish and enforce “best practices” for landlords. The program, which was created in 2015, aims to incentivize Madison landlords to uphold tenant rights and protections that aren’t legally required anymore.

Many former city ordinances — roughly 100 between 2011 and 2016 — that used to apply to tenants have been changed by the state legislature, sometimes limiting the ability for local officials to regulate landlords.

The seminar comes at a price, though. TRC charges $160 per person for individuals who sign up in advance and $180 for those who register at the event.

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