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  • 02/14/2024 12:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    By John Triplett, Rental Housing Journal

    Fraud impacting rental housing costs throughout the country is on the rise and includes incidences of fraudulent rental applications, financial and identity fraud, and is often fueled by social media, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) says in a new survey.

    “Driven in part by social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, the rise in false rental housing applications is exacerbating rental costs, fueling the housing affordability challenges facing communities across the country and undermining the credibility of eviction data.

    These fraudulent incidents consist of a wide range of wrongdoing, including criminal behavior,” the NMHC says in a release about the survey.

    Link to Full Article Here

  • 02/05/2024 5:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    City of Madison introduces new program to help rental housing owners make repairs, upgrades

    The City of Madison on Monday announced a new program aimed at helping rental housing owners pay for repairs and improvements at their properties.

    The Rental Rehab Program allows property owners who charge no more than fair market rents get funding to prevent property deterioration, reduce safety risks and extend their buildings' lives.

    "Our housing crisis requires an all-of-the-above approach," Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said. "While we work to bring more housing to Madison, we must also take care of what we have."

    Funding through the program depends on the number of units on each property. Owners with 1-6 unit buildings can get up to $75,000; while those with 13-20 units could get up to $200,000.

    Link to Full Article Here

    Milwaukee Raze & Revive Initiative

    According to a new release, a building located at 26th and Townsend is one of the first city-owned vacant properties to be demolished in 2024 by a team within the Department of Public Works.

    This team will help address the backlog of vacant abandoned buildings in Milwaukee neighborhoods.

    Once the Raze & Revive program is at full capacity, the DPW team will effectively double the city’s demolition capacity. These demolitions will increase public safety, improve property values, and create new opportunities for housing.

    Link to Full Article Here

    Real estate investors who buy up single family homes could get taxed under new bill

    U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is making a second attempt to pass federal legislation that would tax real estate investors who buy up substantial numbers of single family homes — the plan aimed at increasing the availability of affordable housing.

    The Affordable Housing and Homeownership Protection Act would impose a transfer tax on investors who purchase and hold more than 15 single-family homes nationwide. The revenue would provide up to $50 billion over ten years to help build and preserve approximately 3 million affordable housing units nationwide, according to the senator.

    VineBrook Homes Trust, based in Ohio, is one of the largest owners of single-family rental homes in Wisconsin. The company bought approximately 1,000 homes in Wisconsin and about 25,000 nationwide, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

    Oxford Economics conducted a third-party economic study of VineBrook Home’s impact on Milwaukee. According to the report, VineBrook Homes’ residents pay $113 below the prevailing rent in the area on average per month.

    Link to Full Article Here

    Note: The Journal Sentinel also published a similar article. In it, RPA Attorney Heiner Giese was quoted.

    Heiner Giese, attorney for the city's landlord association, said he did not see a need for Baldwin's legislation.

    "Why are they discriminating against renters and in favor of homeowners?" Giese said, adding that if the legislation became law, "there will be less rentals available, and that is going to hurt the person who wants to rent."

    Link to Journal-Sentinel Article (behind paywall)

  • 01/24/2024 5:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    By Tim Ballering, RPA Board Member

    In this apparent zero-sum game, who is the ultimate loser? In the short term, the property owner is out thousands of dollars in rent, and the renter has lived for free a while longer; a bit further down the road, the renter now has a large eviction on their record, if not sealed.

    But the ultimate losers are all similarly situated renters who pay their rent and behave okay towards the property and the neighbors. Owners who suffer large losses respond. They sell out to the big guys, who have stronger eviction criteria. They sell out to owner-occupants. They change their screening criteria. They change their eviction trigger point. They change their deposit requirements. They raise rents to offset losses.

    In the end, RtC has protected the tree (a nonperforming renter) at the expense of the forest (the 95% of lower-income renters who perform as they should). And the protected tree… gets chopped down while looking for future housing due to their eviction record.

    Zero winners here.

  • 01/23/2024 1:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    By Dawn Anastasi, RPA Board Member

    We have covered this topic at prior RPA meetings, however it bears repeating.

    Let's say that you are renting out a property and in one of the applications, you suspect that the applicant put down their friend's phone number as a reference.

    (You do call current and prior landlords for references, correct?)

    Non-owner occupied properties in Milwaukee get registered with the Department of Neighborhood Services. Those records are public information and can be looked up in order to find out the owner information. 

    Link to My Milwaukee Home

    Simply enter the property address then click "Submit Address". The property owner's name appears, and when you scroll down, you will see a section titled "Registration Owner". Click on the "Owner Registration" link and you will find the name/address and phone number for the preferred contact, registration owner, and/or operator.

    If the owner has not kept this information up to date, it may be old, but it may give you the actual owner's phone number to contact and get a true reference.

    Check out more Landlord Links on the RPA website.

  • 01/16/2024 4:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    Tristan Pettit recently wrote a great blog article about whether or not rental property owners can charge application fees to applicants.

    Link to Article

  • 01/13/2024 5:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    RPA attorney Heiner Giese has had a letter published in the January issue of the Wisconsin Lawyer, which is the monthly publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    The letter points out that providing free lawyers for tenants in evictions often just delays a case and that a better answer is to provide rent assistance instead of paying attorneys.

    The link to the letter is here.

  • 01/11/2024 12:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    Tristan Pettit recently included a link on his blog summarizing Landlord-Tenant Bills that some In Madison are hoping to get passed in 2024.

    As Tristan notes: If these are not the type of laws that you want passed then I suggest you get involved, join the Rental Property Association of Wisconsin, and start talking to your elected officials in Madison.

    Link to Article

  • 01/09/2024 3:00 PM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    Program promotes homeownership for low-income Milwaukee renters

    The Metcalfe Park Homeownership Initiative is a lease-purchase program in the Metcalfe Park neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee. Thirty single-family homes were built 15 years ago on tax-foreclosed lots. Now the homes, which are valued at about $125,000 each, are being sold to tenants for anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000.

    They're available at those rates because of a provision in the federal low-income housing tax credit that allows tenants to buy their homes at a discount 15 years after development. It's known as the eventual tenant ownership model. Developers who receive the tax credit agree to those terms.

    Three of the 30 homes at Metcalfe Park were sold last year. Now advocates are promoting the benefits of homeownership to other eligible tenants.


    These residents have formed a development group to create affordable housing opportunities

    Alice Pugh, a career educator, shared on social media her interest in an informational meeting on the Homes MKE initiative, which renovates vacant, foreclosed City of Milwaukee properties and then sells them to residents at affordable prices.

    Adrienne Hunter reached out to Pugh about their husbands’ shared interest in the initiative. And then the two decided to work together to send a proposal to the Department of City Development to be one of the developers to participate in this project.

  • 01/06/2024 8:00 AM | Dawn Anastasi (Administrator)

    https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/raw/proposal/2023/-5444

    Excerpt:

    DISCLOSURES REGARDING REAL PROPERTY WHOLESALERS

    The bill requires a real property wholesaler to provide certain disclosures to other parties involved in a real property transaction. Under the bill, “real property wholesaler" is defined as a person that enters into a purchase agreement as a buyer and intends to sell the person's rights as buyer to a third party, and “purchase agreement” is defined as a contract for the sale, exchange, option, rental, or purchase of residential real property that includes one to four dwelling units.

    The bill requires a real property wholesaler, no later than entering into a purchase agreement as a buyer, to provide written notice to the seller that the buyer is a real property wholesaler. Under the bill, if the real property wholesaler fails to provide the notice, the seller may rescind the purchase agreement at any time before the closing and retain any deposits or option fees paid by the real property wholesaler.

    In addition, if the real property wholesaler contracts to sell its interest in the purchase agreement to a third party, the bill requires the real property wholesaler, no later than entering into the contract, to provide written notice to the third party that the real property wholesaler is a real property wholesaler that holds an equitable interest in the property as a buyer under the purchase agreement and that the real property wholesaler is conveying its interest in the purchase agreement, not title to the property.

    Under the bill, if the real property wholesaler fails to provide the notice, the third party may rescind the contract at any time before the closing and is entitled to the return of any deposits or option fees paid by the third party.

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Rental Property Association of Wisconsin, Inc. (Formerly AASEW)
P.O. Box 4125
Milwaukee, WI 53204-7905
Phone: 414-276-7378


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