Assembly approves bill that would dramatically expand landlord rights

MADISON — The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would dramatically expand landlord rights.

The Republican bill would allow landlords to dispose of or sell trespassers' property; evict tenants if they cause damage without repairing or paying for it; and evict a tenant if the tenant, a tenant family member or guest engages in criminal activity, including dealing drugs. The landlord could terminate the tenancy regardless of whether anyone was arrested or convicted.

The bill also would require local governments to hold public hearings on plans to designate a structure a historic landmark. The building's owner could appeal if his or her building is designated a landmark.

The Assembly approved the bill 60-31 Thursday, February 11th. It goes next to the Senate.