I had stated in an earlier blog post that I really know when school is back in session because Dr. Rent finds himself in the classroom quite a bit. In addition to the impromptu speaking engagement, I volunteer for Junior Achievement teaching Entrepreneurship to 8th graders at Horace Mann Middle School.
The Wisconsin Apartment Association annual educational conference and trade show is going to be held October 9th through the 11th, and I have three different Saturday morning classes I am doing for them. A class on collection strategies and a class on rent-to-own financing were also offered last year but are back again based on popular demand. A new class that was originally written for the Central Wisconsin Apartment Association titled “Top Ten Pitfalls to Avoid” is the third of my classes to be offered for the WAA groups.
Tonight starts my classes taught through the Continuing Education Department at UWMC. Tonight’s class, titled Step-by-Step Guide to Evictions, covers the eviction process from the very beginning to the very end.
Eviction starts when the tenant actually commits a breach of the rental agreement, so we define what breaches are and how different breaches are handled differently under the law. The next step is the notice that landlords are required to give. There are no less than 6 different types of notices with deadlines from 5 days to 30 days, some offering the tenant the right to fix the problem, some not. Some of the notices even include the right for the tenant to appeal the notice. Which notice gets used not only depends on the type of breach, but also the type of rental agreement. Use the wrong notice, and your eviction action could get dismissed by the court. We also cover how that notice gets delivered.
As far as the eviction action itself, we will go over all of the forms that the court requires and how they get filled out. We even provide copies of the court forms. We talk about how the court paperwork gets served and what costs are involved in filing the action.
We also talk about the court procedure itself. Each county does its court a little differently, so we focus specifically on Marathon County’s procedure. What is the initial appearance and what happens there? We cover what it means to get a default judgment and what happens if an Eviction Trial is scheduled. If the case does go to trial, we talk about what type of evidence is needed to prove your case.
If an Eviction is awarded, we talk about the Writ, what it costs, how you get it, and what you do with it. We will go over how the Sheriff’s department is the only one who can “execute” the writ and remove the tenant from the property. Once the tenant is out, we also talk about the pros and cons of removing and storing the tenant’s property yourself vs. having the Sheriff’s department do it through a bonded moving company.
Finally, once it is all said and done, what if the tenants owe even more money because of additional damages or unpaid rent? We talk about amending your suit and how damage hearings work.
For those not familiar with the Eviction process, it is money well spent. I am offering this class again through the UWMC Continuing Education office on Wednesday, November 18th.
Then the week after next starts my four-week long class on Landlord Tenant Law. It runs the 4 Wednesdays in October. On the 7th and the 14th, we go step by step through Wisconsin’s Landlord-Tenant Statute, WI SS 704. On October 21st, we cover the Administrative Rules drafted by the Dept of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection that covers residential landlord-tenant issues: ATCP 134.
The final class session on October 28th covers other rules such as fair housing and protected classes, lead-based paint, carbon monoxide detectors, and other rules that many may not even know affects landlords such as the Patriot Act and other presidential Executive Orders. As time permits, we may look at the Wausau Chronic Nuisance Ordinance.
I do really enjoy sharing this knowledge and I hope that by educating property owners on the rules and responsibilities that come with renting properties, that we improve the quality of landlord found not only in Wausau, but in Wisconsin and by improving landlords, we improve housing which improves the quality of life for those who choose to rent.