Wisconsin Statutes Property (Ch. 700 to 710) § 704.05. Rights and duties of landlord and tenant in absence of written agreement to contrary

(1) When section applicable.  So far as applicable, this section governs the rights and duties of the landlord and tenant in the absence of any inconsistent provision in writing signed by both the landlord and the tenant.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, this section applies to any tenancy.

(2) Possession of tenant and access by landlord.  Until the expiration date specified in the lease, or the termination of a periodic tenancy or tenancy at will, and so long as the tenant is not in default, the tenant has the right to exclusive possession of the premises, except as hereafter provided.  The landlord may upon advance notice and at reasonable times inspect the premises, make repairs and show the premises to prospective tenants or purchasers;  and if the tenant is absent from the premises and the landlord reasonably believes that entry is necessary to preserve or protect the premises, the landlord may enter without notice and with such force as appears necessary.

(3) Use of premises, additions or alterations by tenant.  The tenant can make no physical changes in the nature of the premises, including decorating, removing, altering or adding to the structures thereon, without prior consent of the landlord.  The tenant cannot use the premises for any unlawful purpose nor in such manner as to interfere unreasonably with use by another occupant of the same building or group of buildings.

(4) Tenant's fixtures.  At the termination of the tenancy, the tenant may remove any fixtures installed by the tenant if the tenant either restores the premises to their condition prior to the installation or pays to the landlord the cost of such restoration.  Where such fixtures were installed to replace similar fixtures which were part of the premises at the time of the commencement of the tenancy, and the original fixtures cannot be restored the tenant may remove fixtures installed by the tenant only if the tenant replaces them with fixtures at least comparable in condition and value to the original fixtures.  The tenant's right to remove fixtures is not lost by an extension or renewal of a lease without reservation of such right to remove.  This subsection applies to any fixtures added by the tenant for convenience as well as those added for purposes of trade, agriculture or business;  but this subsection does not govern the rights of parties other than the landlord and tenant.

(5) Disposition of personalty left by tenant. (a) At the landlord’s discretion. 1. If a tenant removes from or is evicted from the premises and leaves personal property, the landlord may presume, in the absence of a written agreement between the landlord and the tenant to the contrary, that the tenant has abandoned the personal property and may, subject to par. (am) and s. 799.45(3m) , dispose of the abandoned personal property in any manner that the landlord, in its sole discretion, determines is appropriate.

2. If the landlord disposes of the property by private or public sale, the landlord may send the proceeds of the sale minus any costs of sale and any storage charges if the landlord has first stored the personalty to the department of administration for deposit in the appropriation under s. 20.505(7)(h).

(am) Exception for medical items.  If the personal property that the tenant leaves behind is prescription medication or prescription medical equipment, the landlord shall hold the property for 7 days from the date on which the landlord discovers the property.  After that time, the landlord may dispose of the property in the manner that the landlord determines is appropriate, but shall promptly return the property to the tenant if the landlord receives a request for its return before the landlord disposes of it.

(b) Notice required if property is a manufactured or mobile home or a vehicle.  1. In this paragraph:

a. “Manufactured home” has the meaning given in s. 101.91(2) .

b. “Mobile home” has the meaning given in s. 101.91(10) , but does not include a recreational vehicle, as defined in s. 340.01(48r) .

c. “Titled vehicle” means a vehicle, as defined in s. 340.01(74) , for which a certificate of title has been issued by any agency of this state or another state.

2. If the tenant removes from or is evicted from the premises and leaves behind personal property that is a manufactured home, mobile home, or titled vehicle, before disposing of the abandoned property the landlord shall give notice of the landlord's intent to dispose of the property by sale or other appropriate means to all of the following:

a. The tenant, personally or by regular or certified mail addressed to the tenant's last-known address.

b. Any secured party of which the landlord has actual notice, personally or by regular or certified mail addressed to the secured party's last-known address.

(bf) Notice that landlord will not store property.If the landlord does not intend to store personal property left behind by a tenant, except as provided in par. (am), the landlord shall provide written notice to a tenant, when the tenant enters into or renews a rental agreement, that the landlord will not store any items of personal property that the tenant leaves behind when the tenant removes from, or if the tenant is evicted from, the premises, except as provided in par. (am).  Notwithstanding pars. (a), (am), and (b), if the landlord has not provided to a tenant the notice required under this paragraph, the landlord shall comply with s. 704.05, 2009 stats ., with respect to any personal property left behind by the tenant when the tenant removes from the premises, or if the tenant is evicted from the premises and the landlord notifies the sheriff under s. 799.45(3m) .

(c) Rights of 3rd persons.  The landlord's power to dispose as provided by this subsection applies to any property left on the premises by the tenant, whether owned by the tenant or by others.  The power to dispose under this subsection applies notwithstanding any rights of others existing under any claim of ownership or security interest, but is subject to s. 321.62 .  The tenant or any secured party has the right to redeem the property at any time before the landlord has disposed of it or entered into a contract for its disposition by payment of any expenses that the landlord has incurred with respect to the disposition of the property.

(cm) Inapplicability to self-storage facilities.  This subsection does not apply to a lessee of a self-storage unit or space within a self-storage facility under s. 704.90 .


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