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  Date of enactment: April 16, 2018
2017 Assembly Bill 771   Date of publication*: April 17, 2018
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
2017 WISCONSIN ACT 317
An Act to repeal 66.0104 (2) (d) 2. c., 66.0104 (2) (g) and 106.50 (2r) (bm); to renumber 66.0104 (1) (a), 704.17 (1) and 799.06 (3); to renumber and amend 66.0809 (5) (am) and 704.07 (3) (a); to amend 59.69 (4m) (a), 60.64 (1), 62.23 (7) (em) 1., 66.0104 (2) (e) 1., 66.0104 (2) (e) 2. a., 66.0104 (2) (e) 4., 66.0104 (3) (c), 66.0602 (2m) (b) 2., 66.0602 (2m) (b) 3., 66.0809 (3m) (a), 66.0809 (5) (b), 66.0821 (4) (a), 101.132 (2) (a) (intro.), 106.50 (2r) (c), 175.403 (2), 196.643 (title), 704.07 (4), 799.206 (3), 799.40 (4) (a) and 802.05 (2m); and to create 59.69 (4m) (bm), 60.64 (2m), 62.23 (7) (em) 2m., 66.0104 (1) (ah), 66.0104 (2) (e) 1m., 66.0104 (2) (e) 2. am., 66.0104 (2m), 66.0628 (2m), 68.125, 101.02 (7w), 106.50 (1m) (im), 106.50 (1m) (mx), 106.50 (2r) (bg) and (br), 196.643 (3), 196.643 (4), 704.07 (3) (a) 1. and 2., 704.07 (5), 704.085, 704.10, 704.17 (1g), 704.17 (4m), 758.20, 799.06 (3) (b), 799.40 (1g) and 799.40 (1s) of the statutes; relating to: the authority of political subdivisions to regulate rental properties and historic properties and of municipalities to inspect dwellings, public utility service to rental dwelling units, landlord and tenant regulations, fees imposed by a political subdivision, certain levy limit reductions, certain procedural changes in eviction actions, information available on the consolidated court automated Internet site, discrimination in housing against individuals who keep certain animals, falsely claiming an animal to be a service animal, municipal administrative procedure, enforcement of the rental unit energy efficiency program, and providing penalties.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
317,1 Section 1. 59.69 (4m) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
59.69 (4m) (a) Subject to par. pars. (b) and (bm), a county, as an exercise of its zoning and police powers for the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the community and of the state, may regulate by ordinance any place, structure or object with a special character, historic interest, aesthetic interest or other significant value, for the purpose of preserving the place, structure or object and its significant characteristics. Subject to pars. (b), (bm), and (c), the county may create a landmarks commission to designate historic landmarks and establish historic districts. Subject to par. pars. (b) and (bm), the county may regulate all historic landmarks and all property within each historic district to preserve the historic landmarks and property within the district and the character of the district.
317,2 Section 2. 59.69 (4m) (bm) of the statutes is created to read:
59.69 (4m) (bm) In the repair or replacement of a property that is designated as a historic landmark or included within a historic district or neighborhood conservation district under this subsection, a county shall permit an owner to use materials that are similar in design, color, scale, architectural appearance, and other visual qualities.
317,3 Section 3. 60.64 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
60.64 (1) Subject to sub. subs. (2) and (2m), the town board, in the exercise of its zoning and police powers for the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the community and of the state, may regulate any place, structure or object with a special character, historic interest, aesthetic interest or other significant value for the purpose of preserving the place, structure or object and its significant characteristics. Subject to subs. (2), (2m), and (3), the town board may create a landmarks commission to designate historic landmarks and establish historic districts. Subject to sub. subs. (2) and (2m), the board may regulate all historic landmarks and all property within each historic district to preserve the historic landmarks and property within the district and the character of the district.
317,4 Section 4. 60.64 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
60.64 (2m) In the repair or replacement of a property that is designated as a historic landmark or included within a historic district or neighborhood conservation district under this section, the town board shall allow an owner to use materials that are similar in design, color, scale, architectural appearance, and other visual qualities.
317,5 Section 5. 62.23 (7) (em) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
62.23 (7) (em) 1. Subject to subd. subds. 2. and 2m., a city, as an exercise of its zoning and police powers for the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the community and of the state, may regulate by ordinance, or if a city contains any property that is listed on the national register of historic places in Wisconsin or the state register of historic places shall, not later than 1995, enact an ordinance to regulate, any place, structure or object with a special character, historic, archaeological or aesthetic interest, or other significant value, for the purpose of preserving the place, structure or object and its significant characteristics. Subject to subds. 2., 2m., and 3., a city may create a landmarks commission to designate historic or archaeological landmarks and establish historic districts. Subject to subd. subds. 2. and 2m., the city may regulate, or if the city contains any property that is listed on the national register of historic places in Wisconsin or the state register of historic places shall regulate, all historic or archaeological landmarks and all property within each historic district to preserve the historic or archaeological landmarks and property within the district and the character of the district.
317,6 Section 6. 62.23 (7) (em) 2m. of the statutes is created to read:
62.23 (7) (em) 2m. In the repair or replacement of a property that is designated as a historic landmark or included within a historic district or neighborhood conservation district under this paragraph, a city shall allow an owner to use materials that are similar in design, color, scale, architectural appearance, and other visual qualities.
317,7 Section 7 . 66.0104 (1) (a) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0104 (1) (ax).
317,8 Section 8 . 66.0104 (1) (ah) of the statutes is created to read:
66.0104 (1) (ah) “Habitability violation” means any of the following conditions if the condition constitutes an ordinance violation:
1. The rental property or rental unit lacks hot or cold running water.
2. Heating facilities serving the rental property or rental unit are not in safe operating condition or are not capable of maintaining a temperature, in all living areas of the property or unit, of at least 67 degrees Fahrenheit during all seasons of the year in which the property or unit may be occupied. Temperatures in living areas shall be measured at the approximate center of the room, midway between floor and ceiling.
3. The rental property or rental unit is not served by electricity, or the electrical wiring, outlets, fixtures, or other components of the electrical system are not in safe operating condition.
4. Any structural or other conditions in the rental property or rental unit that constitute a substantial hazard to the health or safety of the tenant, or create an unreasonable risk of personal injury as a result of any reasonably foreseeable use of the property or unit other than negligent use or abuse of the property or unit by the tenant.
5. The rental property or rental unit is not served by plumbing facilities in good operating condition.
6. The rental property or rental unit is not served by sewage disposal facilities in good operating condition.
7. The rental property or rental unit lacks working smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors.
8. The rental property or rental unit is infested with rodents or insects.
9. The rental property or rental unit contains excessive mold.
317,9 Section 9. 66.0104 (2) (d) 2. c. of the statutes is repealed.
317,10 Section 10. 66.0104 (2) (e) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0104 (2) (e) 1. Requires that a rental property or rental unit be inspected except upon a complaint by any person, as part of a program of regularly scheduled inspections conducted in compliance with under subd. 1m., under s. 66.0119, as applicable, or as required under state or federal law.
317,11 Section 11 . 66.0104 (2) (e) 1m. of the statutes is created to read:
66.0104 (2) (e) 1m. A city, village, town, or county may establish a rental property inspection program under this subdivision. Under the program, the governing body of the city, village, town, or county may designate districts in which there is evidence of blight, high rates of building code complaints or violations, deteriorating property values, or increases in single-family home conversions to rental units. A city, village, town, or county may require that a rental property or rental unit located in a district designated under this subdivision be initially inspected and periodically inspected. If no habitability violation is discovered during a program inspection or if a habitability violation is discovered during a program inspection and the violation is corrected within a period of not less than 30 days established by the city, village, town, or county, the city, village, town, or county may not perform a program inspection of the property for at least 5 years. If a habitability violation is discovered during a program inspection and the violation is not corrected within the period established by the city, village, town, or county, the city, village, town, or county may require the rental property or unit to be inspected annually under the program. If a habitability violation is discovered during an inspection conducted upon a complaint and the violation is not corrected within a period of not less than 30 days established by the city, village, town, or county, the city, village, town, or county may require the rental property or unit to be inspected annually under the program. If, at a rental property or unit subject to annual program inspections, no habitability violation is discovered during 2 consecutive annual program inspections, the city, village, town, or county, except as provided in this subdivision, may not perform a program inspection of the property for at least 5 years. No rental property or unit that is less than 8 years old may be inspected under this subdivision. A city, village, town, or county may provide a period of less than 30 days for the correction of a habitability violation under this subdivision if the violation exposes a tenant to imminent danger. A city, village, town, or county shall provide an extension to the period for correction of a habitability violation upon a showing of good cause. A city, village, town, or county shall provide in a notice of a habitability violation an explanation of the violation including a specification of the violation and the exact location of the violation. No inspection of a rental unit may be conducted under this subdivision if the occupant of the unit does not consent to allow access unless the inspection is under a special inspection warrant under s. 66.0119.
317,12 Section 12 . 66.0104 (2) (e) 2. a. of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0104 (2) (e) 2. a. The amount of the fee is uniform for residential rental inspections does not exceed $75 for an inspection of a vacant unit under subd. 1m. or an inspection of the exterior and common areas of a property under subd. 1m., $90 for any other initial program inspection under subd. 1m., or $150 for any other 2nd or subsequent program inspection under subd. 1m. No fee may be charged for a program inspection under subd. 1m. if no habitability violation is discovered during the inspection or, if a violation is discovered during the inspection, the violation is corrected within the period established by the city, village, town, or county under subd. 1m. No fee may be charged for an inspection of the exterior and common areas if the property owner voluntarily allows access for the inspection and no habitability violation is discovered during the inspection or, if a violation is discovered during the inspection, the violation is corrected within the period established by the city, village, town, or county under subd. 1m. No fee may be charged for a reinspection that occurs after a habitability violation has been corrected. No fee may be charged to a property owner if a program inspection does not occur because an occupant of the property does not allow access to the property. Annually, a city, village, town, or county may increase the fee amounts under this subd. 2. a. by not more than the percentage change in the U.S. consumer price index for all urban consumers, U.S. city average, as determined by the federal department of labor, for the previous year or 2 percent, whichever is greater.
317,13 Section 13 . 66.0104 (2) (e) 2. am. of the statutes is created to read:
66.0104 (2) (e) 2. am. The amount of the fee does not exceed $150 for an inspection under s. 66.0119, except that if a habitability violation is discovered during the inspection and the violation is not corrected within a period of not less than 30 days established by the city, village, town, or county, the fee may not exceed $300. No fee may be charged for an inspection under s. 66.0119 if no habitability violation is discovered. Annually, a city, village, town, or county may increase the fee amounts under this subd. 2. am. by not more than the percentage change in the U.S. consumer price index for all urban consumers, U.S. city average, as determined by the federal department of labor, for the previous year or 2 percent, whichever is greater.
317,14 Section 14 . 66.0104 (2) (e) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0104 (2) (e) 4. Except as provided in this subdivision, requires that a rental property or rental unit be certified, registered, or licensed or requires that a residential rental property owner register or obtain a certification or license related to owning or managing the residential rental property. A city, village, town, or county may require that a rental unit or residential rental property owner be registered if the registration consists requires only of providing the one name of the an owner and an or authorized contact person and an address and, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address or other information necessary to receive communications by other electronic means at which the contact person may be contacted. No city, village, town, or county, except a 1st class city, may charge a fee for registration under this subdivision except a one-time registration fee that reflects the actual costs of operating a registration program, but that does not exceed $10 per building, and a one-time fee for the registration of a change of ownership or management of a building or change of contact information for a building that reflects the actual and direct costs of registration, but that does not exceed $10 per building.
317,15 Section 15 . 66.0104 (2) (g) of the statutes is repealed.
317,16 Section 16. 66.0104 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
66.0104 (2m) If a city, village, town, or county has in effect an ordinance that authorizes the inspection of a rental property or rental unit upon a complaint from an inspector or other employee or elected official of the city, village, town, or county, the city, village, town, or county shall maintain for each inspection performed upon a complaint from an employee or official a record of the name of the person making the complaint, the nature of the complaint, and any inspection conducted upon the complaint.
317,17 Section 17 . 66.0104 (3) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0104 (3) (c) If a city, village, town, or county has in effect on March 2, 2016, an ordinance that is inconsistent with sub. (2) (e), or (f), or (g), the ordinance does not apply and may not be enforced.
317,18 Section 18 . 66.0602 (2m) (b) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0602 (2m) (b) 2. Except as provided in subd. 4., if a political subdivision receives revenues that are designated to pay for a covered service that was funded in 2013 by the levy of the political subdivision, the political subdivision shall reduce its levy limit in the current year by an amount equal to the estimated amount of fee revenue collected for providing the covered service, less any previous reductions made under this subdivision, not to exceed the amount funded in 2013 by the levy of the political subdivision.
317,19 Section 19 . 66.0602 (2m) (b) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0602 (2m) (b) 3. Except as provided in subd. 4., if a political subdivision receives payments in lieu of taxes that are designated to pay for a covered service that was funded in 2013 by the levy of the political subdivision, the political subdivision shall reduce its levy limit in the current year by the estimated amount of payments in lieu of taxes received by the political subdivision to pay for the covered service, less any previous reductions made under this subdivision, not to exceed the amount funded in 2013 by the levy of the political subdivision.
317,20 Section 20 . 66.0628 (2m) of the statutes is created to read:
66.0628 (2m) A political subdivision may not impose a fee or charge related to the political subdivision enforcing an ordinance related to noxious weeds, electronic waste, or other building or property maintenance standards unless the political subdivision first notifies the person against whom the fee or charge is to be imposed that the fee or charge may be imposed. If the notice relates to a building that is not owner-occupied, the notice shall be provided to the owner by 1st class mail or electronic mail. If the owner of a property provides an electronic mail address to a political subdivision, the political subdivision may not impose a fee or charge related to the political subdivision enforcing an ordinance related to noxious weeds, electronic waste, or other building or property maintenance standards at that property unless the political subdivision first notifies the owner of the property using the electronic mail address provided. This subsection does not apply to a fee or charge related to the clearing of snow or ice from a sidewalk or to an ordinance violation that creates an immediate danger to public health, safety, or welfare.
317,21 Section 21 . 66.0809 (3m) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0809 (3m) (a) If sub. (5) applies, the municipal utility is complying with sub. (5) (am) 1., and a notice of arrears under sub. (3) (a) is given or past-due charges are certified to the comptroller under s. 62.69 (2) (f), on the date the notice of arrears is given, or the past-due charges are certified under s. 62.69 (2) (f), the municipality has a lien upon the assets of each tenant of a rental dwelling unit who is responsible for arrears in the amount of the arrears, including any penalty assessed pursuant to the rules of the utility.
317,22 Section 22 . 66.0809 (5) (am) of the statutes is renumbered 66.0809 (5) (am) 1. and amended to read:
66.0809 (5) (am) 1. A municipal public utility shall send bills for water or electric service to a customer who is a tenant in the tenant's own name.
2. If a customer who is a tenant vacates his or her rental dwelling unit, and the owner of the rental dwelling unit provides the municipal public utility, no later than 21 days after the date on which the tenant vacates the rental dwelling unit, with a written notice that contains a forwarding address for the tenant and the date that the tenant vacated the rental dwelling unit, the utility shall continue to send past-due notices to the customer at his or her forwarding address until the past-due charges are paid or until notice has been provided under sub. (3) (a) or the past-due charges have been certified to the comptroller under s. 62.69 (2) (f).
317,23 Section 23 . 66.0809 (5) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
66.0809 (5) (b) A municipal public utility may use sub. (3) or, if s. 62.69 applies, s. 62.69 (2) (f), to collect arrearages incurred after the owner of a rental dwelling unit has provided the utility with written notice under par. (a) if the municipal public utility is complying with par. (am) 1. and serves notice of the past-due charges on the owner of the rental dwelling unit within 14 days of the date on which the tenant's charges became past due. The municipal public utility shall serve notice in the manner provided in s. 801.14 (2).
317,24 Section 24 . 66.0821 (4) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
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