Rent For Success Program
Rent for Success traditional-setting classes are cancelled until further notice for public safety. All CLASSES ARE NOW VIRTUAL. Please see the calendar in the right column of this page for scheduled dates & times. More details may be obtained by calling (414) 286-8122.
Rent for Success is a free tenant-training program designed to educate and empower renters to make safe, healthy choices in their housing, and to provide helpful resources if anything does go wrong with an arrangement. Call (414) 286-8122 or email for an appointment (groups preferred, gather your friends).
Be sure to include:
- your full name
- a complete address with city, state and zip
- your phone number (with area code), and
- your email address
Learn how to:
- Understand Rental Agreements
- Advocate for yourself, legally
- Repair your credit
- Get a free Credit Report
- Respond to housing violations effectively
- Find healthy food
- End a bad tenancy
- Select the right place to rent
You will receive:
- Certificate of completion
- 50-page resource manual to keep (loads of great info!)
Eviction Database Website
- DNS worked in partnership with the City Attorney's Office, Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin to develop the Eviction Database website. Users can view interactive maps and data visualizations to track and monitor city of Milwaukee evictions.
Tips to Avoid Housing Rental Scams
- BEWARE - Be cautious of fake online ads on Craigslist and other rental websites. Bring a friend with you when meeting people.
- DON’T RENT BEFORE SEEING - Ask to meet the landlord and view the apartment in-person to be sure you are aware of the condition and location of the unit. Make sure the property location matches the address on the written rental agreement.
- PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFO - Do not give out personal information such as social security numbers or banking information.
- WATCH FOR SIGNS - Do NOT sign a lease or move in if the property has been placarded (an orange sticker from the City is posted at the property) or if there are any green boards over doors and windows. Watch for other signs like windows/doors missing locks, no running water or sewage backed-up, non-working/missing furnace, or unstable construction.
- VERIFY THE OWNER - Prior to signing a lease agreement, look up the owner of the property to be sure you are dealing with a person who has the rights to rent out the property. View property ownership information (plus code violations, service requests and permit info) online at milwaukee.gov/mymilwaukeehome.
- RESEARCH LANDLORD’S REPUTATION - Ask tenants and neighbors, check his/her other properties and look up criminal records on CCAP at https://wcca.wicourts.gov.
- NEVER PAY CASH - Always pay security deposit and monthly rent with a personal check, cashier’s check or money order, if possible. If a tenant does pay in cash, request a receipt immediately from the owner or manager.
- GET IT IN WRITING AND READ IT - Look closely at the details of your lease agreement to be sure all information matches what you’ve agreed upon and that the property address is correct. Always get and keep a written copy of the rental agreement or lease to help eliminate problems down the road.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed:
Rental scams in the news:
By law, landlords/property owners:
- MAY NOT advertise or rent condemned property
- MUST disclose to a new tenant known housing code violations (e.g. structural, plumbing, electrical issues, etc.) in writing, and when they will be fixed
- MAY NOT rent a dwelling unit if the heating facillity device cannot maintain a minimum temperature of 67° when the outside temperature is -10° or above (Unvented space heaters ARE NOT ALLOWED!)
- MUST disclose who pays which utilities, and how those fees are determined for each tenant (e.g. 50/50, 33/33/33, 60/40)
- MUST disclose who cuts the grass and removes the snow
- MUST provide a name and phone number for themselves and/or their property manager, and where rent gets paid
- MUST provide a Check-In/Check-Out sheet at move-in (it is due back on a date of the landlady's choosing--not less-than SEVEN DAYS from date of receipt--or damage may be faulted to the tenant).
- MUST Provide a written Lead Disclosure Statement, AND a copy of the EPA "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" brochure to all dwelling units if the building is built before 1978.
If you have other questions about your rights and procedures, visit: Fair Housing Council: Guide for Owners and Managers of Rental Property
State Statutes and Legislative Documents for Landlords/Tenants