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Rent For Success Program

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.

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!)

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  • 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
  • RESEARCH LANDLORD’S REPUTATION - Ask tenants and neighbors, check his/her other properties and look up criminal records on CCAP at
  • 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 device cannot maintain a minimum temperature of 67° when the outside temperature is -10° or above
  • 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

Rent For Success logo

Contact Us

Department of Neighborhood Services
Rent For Success Program
841 N. Broadway, Room 105
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 286-8122

Call or email for an appointment (groups preferred, gather your friends).

Watch for additional updates
as the program develops.

Resources for Renters

Farm Fresh Atlas
Milwaukee Metro area map

Fresh Picks-Pick ‘n Save
Mobile Market with 25%-off! Debit, Credit and EBT only.

Growing Power
Resource to buy food, and learn how to effectively and safely grow your own.

Housing Resource Center
Grants, Discounted Building Materials, Workshops (Buying & Maintaining a Home, etc.), Tool-Loan Program. Search under "Resources" and "Calendar" tabs.

Hunger Task Force
Hunger Task Force provides a safety net of emergency food to a network of local food pantries and meal programs. We are the only food bank in Milwaukee that does not charge for food, delivery or network membership. (414) 897-0460

Pete’s Fruit Markets
South: open every day from 7am to 9:30pm at 1400 S. Union St. (414) 383-1300
North: open every day from 8am to 8pm 2303 N. MLK Drive, (414) 383-1300

Rent-to-Own through STRONGBLOCKS
Find out if the 21-month Rent-to-Own Program is right for you! Read about the application process, and learn which documents you may need to become a homeOWNER!

Riverwest Food Pantry
Bring a proof of address and Photo ID, along with proof of residence for all people living in your house; open Tuesdays 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Frederick J. Gaenslen School, 1250 E. Burleigh St.

Southeastern Wisconsin Farmer’s Markets An interactive map of Metro Milwaukee farmers markets, and their details

(Winter) Milwaukee Winter Farmer’s Market
Operates Saturdays, November to April, in the Greenhouse Annex at the Mitchell Park Conservatory (Domes), Market Hours: 9:00am to 1:00pm, 524 S. Layton Blvd.

State Statutes and Legislative Documents for Landlords/Tenants

Landlord/Tenant Page

Chapter 66: General Municipality Law (66.0104 Prohibiting Ordinances that Place Certain Limits or Requirements on a Landlord, etc.)

Chapter 704: Landlord and Tenant(Severablity of Rental Agreements, Requirements of Writing for Rental Agreements and Termination, etc.)

Chapter 799: Procedure in Small Claims Actions (Court and Evictions, etc.)

ATCP 125: Manufactured Home Communities-Fair Trade Practices

ATCP 134Landlord/Tenant Rules (Promises to Repair, Prohibited Rental-Agreement Provisions, etc. NOTE: this link has not-yet been updated to reflect some recent changes, to include Credit-Check fee for a prospective tenant is now < $25)

(NEW) Pesticide Application Guidelines for Landlords