Wisconsin Governor Bans Evictions for Sixty Days

West And Dunn Attorney Eric R. Pangburn

On the heels of last week’s Safer at Home Order, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has again issued an Order impacting Wisconsin landlords. This latest Order imposes a 60-day ban on the commencement of eviction actions based on a tenant’s inability to pay rent. In addition, landlords are prohibited from serving any notice terminating tenancy, such as a 5-Day Notice, on any tenant for failure to pay rent.

Landlords are permitted to serve a notice terminating tenancy and to commence an eviction action, subject to the following two conditions:

  • The eviction notice or action cannot be based on a failure to rent; and,

  • The eviction notice or action must be accompanied by an affidavit attesting that it is not based on a failure to pay rent and that the notice or eviction action is necessary to prevent an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person.

In addition to prohibiting the commencement of new eviction proceedings, the Order also impacts pending evictions. In any eviction action for which a Writ of Restitution, ordering the Sheriff to remove a tenant and restore possession of the leased premises to the landlord, has already been issued, landlords are prohibited from delivering such Writs to the Sheriffs’ office. Likewise, all Sheriffs’ offices are prohibited from acting on such Writs. Sheriffs’ offices are permitted to act on a Writ of Restitution, however, if the eviction order was not based on a failure to pay rent and the Writ is accompanied by an affidavit attesting that the eviction is not based on failure to pay rent and, to a reasonable belief, and the basis thereof, that a failure to execute the Writ will result in an imminent threat of serious harm to another person.

The Order does not prohibit a landlord from evicting a tenant who remains in the leased premises following the expiration of their lease. Nor does the Order relieve a tenant from paying rent, or complying with any other provisions of their lease, during the 60-day stay.

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