Bookmark and Share

Rent For Success Program    

DNS Offices closed until further notice. More details may be obtained at (414) 286-8444

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!)

web browser icon

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. 

warning triangle graphic

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
  • 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.

Red x icon

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed:

eye icon

Rental scams in the news:

home icon

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.

notes icon

State Statutes and Legislative Documents for Landlords/Tenants

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).

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
Please wait while we gather your results.


DNS Offices closed until further notice. More information may be obtained at (414) 286-8444

04-04-202010:30 AMMartin Luther King Library, 310 W Locust St-Community Room 1, 50 max

DNS Offices closed until further notice. More information may be obtained at (414) 286-8444

04-18-202010:30 AMBay View Library, 2566 S Kinnickinnic Av-Community Room

DNS Offices closed until further notice. More information may be obtained at (414) 286-8444

05-05-20204:30 PMCapitol Library-Community Room, 3969 N 74th St

Rent for Success-Tippecanoe Library, Community Room

05-19-20204:30 PMTippecanoe Library, 3912 S Howell Av

Rent for Success-East Library, Community Room

05-28-20201:30 PMEast Library-Community Room, 2320 N Cramer St

Rent for Success-Zablocki Library, Community Room

06-09-20204:30 PMZablocki Library-Community Room, 3501 W Oklahoma Av

Rent for Success-Mitchell Street Library, Community Room

06-25-20201:30 PMMitchell Street Library-Community Room, 906 W Historic Mitchell Street

Resources for Renters

Emotional Support Animals

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.

HOPE-Network For Single Mothers
Provide Milwaukee area single mothers with connection, opportunity, and resources to build self-reliance and improve outcomes for their entire family.

Housing Help (Strong Neighborhoods Plan) 
City of Milwaukee and other resources for buying and renovating a home.

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

Legal Action: Tenant Sourcebook

*NEW* MATC Partners with Fast Fund & Pete's Fruit Market to Fight Student Hunger

Mold vs. Mildew: When to Worry, When to Clean

Pesticide Application Guidelines for Landlords

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!

*NEW* Resources for Homebuyers
Grants, Initiatives and Programs to help you buy a home

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.

See Something, Say Something & get a $1,000! Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest can receive cash rewards up to $1,000.

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

*New* Office of Violence Prevention (City of MIlwaukee): to prevent and reduce violence through partnerships that strengthen youth, families, and neighborhoods. 

Washington park Census Rally and Canvas, March 27th & 28th, 2020

(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.