Recent federal legislation extends a September 2020 order from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) titled Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19. This order, which protects tenants from being evicted based on nonpayment of rent, will now run through January 31, 2021.

“Wisconsin renters should know that they are not automatically entitled to protections under the CDC order,” said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. “We encourage Wisconsin tenants who are struggling to make rent payments to seek this important relief by submitting their request in writing to their landlord.”

To invoke the moratorium, tenants, lessees, or residents of residential properties must provide a signed copy of the declaration form provided by the CDC (or a similar declaration) to their landlord or residential property owner. Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract must provide their own separate declaration.

“The economic fallout from the pandemic has resulted in housing insecurity for many Wisconsinites. I’m glad the eviction moratorium has been extended. Those who need eviction relief should connect with state and local resources in order to utilize the emergency rental assistance available,” said Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.

The federal legislation that extends the CDC order also includes $25 billion in emergency rental assistance for states and local governments. Renters who are eligible for this assistance may use the funding to help pay rent or utility bills.

As more information on this federal emergency rental assistance becomes available, DATCP will update its Landlord Tenant COVID-19 FAQs.

The federal eviction moratorium does not exempt tenants from their obligations to pay rent and follow the terms of their lease. Tenants are still required to pay their rent and may still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent. Landlords may still charge and collect late fees, penalties, or interest.

The order also does not change Wisconsin law that prohibits housing discrimination. If you believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination, contact the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Equal Rights Division.

Detailed information on the declaration and eligibility requirements for this relief can be found at datcp.wi.gov under Landlord Tenant COVID-19 FAQs. As more information becomes available about the eviction moratorium, rental assistance, and any other related landlord tenant topics, DATCP will continue to update these FAQs.  

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