When you sign a lease for an apartment, your landlord will probably require you to pay a security deposit. Later, when your lease ends and you vacate the apartment, you'll want your security deposit back as soon as possible.
How much a landlord may collect from you as a security deposit varies across the United States. In addition, states have their own laws that regulate how long a landlord may take to return your deposit, whether you're owed interest, the consequences for a landlord who fails to follow the law, and more.
Q: What's the most a Wisconsin landlord can get from a tenant as a security deposit?
A: Wisconsin's statutes impose no maximum limitation on landlords for collecting security deposits from tenants.
Q: How long does a Wisconsin landlord have to return a tenant's security deposit?
A: A Wisconsin landlord has up to 21 days after the end of a tenancy to return the security deposit.
Q: May a Wisconsin landlord legally keep some or all of a tenant's security deposit?
A: Yes. A landlord may apply some or all of a tenant's security deposit to cover back rent and damages caused by the tenant. If a landlord is returning any amount less than the full security deposit, the landlord has up to 21 days to send written notice to the tenant, in which the deductions are itemized.
Q: How can a tenant ensure she gets her security deposit from a Wisconsin landlord?
A: The tenant should give the landlord a forwarding address for the return of the security deposit and/or an itemized accounting. If a tenant doesn't take this step, the landlord must mail the deposit and/or accounting to the tenant's last known address, which could be the tenant's recently vacated apartment.
Q: What happens if a Wisconsin landlord doesn't return the deposit on time?
A: Wisconsin's statutes don't indicate what the tenant may be entitled to recover if a landlord doesn't send the security deposit or itemized accounting within the 21-day period.
Q: Is a Wisconsin landlord required to keep security deposits in separate accounts?
A: A: Wisconsin doesn't require landlords to keep a tenant's security deposit in a separate account or earn interest during the tenancy.