The Residential Rental Practices Code requires landlords to maintain their rental properties in a reasonably safe manner. The landlord is also required to tell potential renters of any dangerous condition that the landlord knows about or should have known about if they did a reasonable inspection. The code can be found at: www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/atcp/atcp134.pdf.
The purpose of the law is to protect renters from hazardous and dangerous conditions in their apartment. Some common examples of conditions that could involve the code are faulty wiring in an apartment that starts a fire and injures someone, failure to have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in an apartment in a situation where someone is injured, and stairways that do not have handrails or other safety features in a situation where a person falls and gets hurt.
A violation of ATCP 134 is enforceable under Wis. Stats. sec. 100.20. This statute provides for double pecuniary damages (medical bills and lost wages for example) and attorneys fees for a person injured because of a violation of the Residential Rental Practices Code. The law is a strong statement that landlords owe their tenants a duty to rent safe places, and to inform their renters of any unsafe conditions.
If you have been injured because of a landlord’s carelessness contact Lawton & Cates at firstname.lastname@example.org.