When you are done reading about the Wisconsin Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding Wisconsin Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
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Wisconsin Eviction Laws
In the state of Wisconsin, the eviction laws and landlord tenant laws are governed by statute, specifically Chapter 704 of the Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations. If you are a landlord in Wisconsin, it is highly recommended that you take the time to read these laws and become familiar with them. It might save you a lot of money one day!
Wisconsin Eviction Notice
The first step in the Wisconsin Eviction Process is the landlord serving the tenant with a Wisconsin Eviction Notice. The most common type of Eviction Notice in Wisconsin in the 5 Day Pay or Quit Notice, however there are other types. If the tenant is late on rent, the landlord should serve them with the common 5 Day Pay or Quit Notice, which tells the tenant that if they do not pay the rent in 5 days, not counting weekends or the day it is served, then the landlord will sue them for eviction. If the tenant has committed a lease violation, the landlord must serve the tenant with a 5 Day Notice for Lease Violation. This will give the tenant 5 days to take “reasonable steps” to correct the lease violation, or else the landlord will sue for eviction. If the landlord has received notice from a law enforcement agency that the house is being used to sell drugs, then the landlord can serve a 5 Day Notice with No Right to Cure (meaning the tenant still has to move even if they stop selling drugs).
Landlords for Month-to-Month Tenants and Week-to-Week Tenants have an extra option. If the tenant is late on rent or has committed a lease violation, the landlord may serve them with a 14 Day Notice to Quit with no right to cure. That means that even if they try to pay the rent or correct the lease violation, the landlord can still evict them. This should only be used by landlords who do not want to give the tenant the opportunity to fix the problem (the landlord simply wants the problem tenant out). This 14 Day Notice can also be served upon tenants who are in a lease of 1 month or more IF AND ONLY IF they have received a 5 Day Notice for the same kind of violation in the past 12 months.
Tenants that are in leases for more than a year (2 year lease, 3 year lease, etc.) have more protection. To begin evicting those tenants, the landlord must serve a 30 Day Notice, which gives the tenant 30 days to pay the rent, correct the lease violation, etc., or else the landlord will sue for eviction.
File the Eviction Complaint
After the tenant has received proper notice, and still has not moved out, the landlord must go to court to beginning the eviction lawsuit. The landlord should go to the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where the property is located, and ask for a Small Claims Summons and Complaint Form. Fill out the form and file with the clerk. There will be a filing fee. Ask the Clerk if they can have the Sheriff or Constable serve the Summons and Complaint. If they cannot, then ask them for a private process server who can do it. The Summons and Complaint must be served (delivered) on the tenant at lease 5 days before the first court date. The clerk will tell you when the court date is, and this will also be on the Summons. Proof that the Summons and Complaint were served must be filed with the court before the first court date.
First Court Date
In order for the landlord to win, they must be present at the first court date. If the tenant does not show up, then the landlord will probably win by default. If both parties show up, the court will see if it is possible for them to settle. If it is not possible (if rent has not been paid), then there will be a second court date where there will be a trial.
Second Court Date (Trial)
If the tenant does not show up to this court date, then the landlord will win by default. If the tenant does show up, then each party will have an opportunity to explain their side in front of the judge. In order to win, the landlord should bring all paperwork (lease, copy of notice, rent receipts, etc.), witnesses, and other evidence needed to prove the case. The judge cannot rule for the landlord unless there is evidence. The judge can award a money judgment, possession, or both to the landlord.
Writ of Restitution
What if the judge has awarded the landlord possession, but the tenants STILL have not moved out. The landlord must go back to the court clerk and request a “Writ of Restitution.” This will cost another filing fee. The clerk will give you the Writ and you must take it to the Sheriff to serve on the Tenant (the sheriff will charge a fee also). The tenant will have 10 days to move.
24 Hour Sheriff’s Notice
If the tenant has not moved out after the 10 days in the Writ of Restitution, the sheriff will post a 24 hour notice on the premises, telling the tenant that they will be physically removed in 24 hours. After the 24 hours is up, the sheriff will physically remove the tenant (most evictions never get this far, because the tenant moves out earlier in the process).
Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding Wisconsin Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.