MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News) A bill to give landlords more power over their tenants was temporarily blocked in the Wisconsin Assembly yesterday. Democrats used a procedural move to delay a final vote on the measure until June.
The measure was debated for over an hour, and Democrats failed to get several amendments approved. The bill’s main sponsor, Saukville Republican Duey Strobel, said it would ease burdensome requirements for landlords – and it would hold tenants more responsible for damages. Landlords could dispose of anything tenants leave behind without advance notice. Building owners could also have tenant vehicles towed if they’re illegally parked. They could also evict tenants if crimes occur in their units, regardless of whether the tenants could have prevented them. Victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and stalking could not be evicted.
Sun Prairie Democrat Gary Hebl called the bill an “attack on the little guy.” He and others said it tramples on consumer rights. Other critics feared violent confrontations between tenants and the landlords who toss them out.