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Landlord-rights bill moves forward

MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A bill that gives landlords more power over their tenants was approved yesterday in the Wisconsin Assembly. Majority Republicans sent the measure to the Senate on a 57-37 party-line vote, as all Democrats who were present voted no.

The bill’s main sponsor, Saukville Republican Duey Strobel, said it would ease burdensome requirements for landlords – and it would hold tenants more responsible for damages. Landlords could dispose of almost anything tenants leave behind without advance notice. Building owners could also evict tenants if crimes occur in their units, regardless of whether the tenants could have prevented them.

Victims of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic abuse could not be evicted.

Democrats said the bill tramples on consumer rights. Other critics, including some in law enforcement, fear violent confrontations between tenants and the landlords who try to toss them out.