Wisconsin Lease Agreement Template – Forbes Advisor






































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Published: Nov 6, 2023, 3:57am

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A lease agreement is the document created when a landlord enters into a contract with a tenant to rent property.

This article will break down all the requirements and tell you what you need to know to create a binding rental contract in Wisconsin. One of the best ways to ensure you understand how a document works is by looking at a template. You can enter your email address below to get a free Wisconsin lease template in your inbox.

Basing your lease on this document can help you ensure you create a legally binding document.

What Is a Lease Agreement?

A lease agreement is a contract between a landlord—the property owner—and a tenant (or tenants)—the person or people using the property.

The purpose of a lease is to spell out the rights and responsibilities of all parties. These typically include the landlord’s right to collect the agreed-upon rent, for example, and their duties to repair and maintain the property. The tenants also have rights and responsibilities in most rental contracts.

The exact nature of the roles of each party will depend on the nature of the document, Wisconsin laws and the terms that the landlord and tenant agree to.


When Is a Lease Agreement Used in Wisconsin?

A rental agreement is used when a property owner wants to rent their property to a tenant. While it is legal to have an oral lease agreement in Wisconsin, having an agreement in writing is usually a good idea.

Without a written document, it could be challenging to prove that the other party isn’t honoring your agreement, and it may be more difficult to hold them accountable.


Who Typically Creates a Lease Agreement?

The landlord usually takes on the responsibility of writing the residential lease. This makes sense, as one of the critical elements of a written rental contract is a description of the property, and tenants may not be familiar enough with the rental property when they begin a new lease.

There is no requirement, however, that the landlord write the lease. Tenants can draft a residential lease themselves. In either case, both parties can negotiate the lease terms before signing, though this is more common in commercial than residential leases.


What Parties Are Involved in a Lease Agreement?

There are always two parties to a lease: the lessee and the lessor. The lessee is the tenant or tenants who will be using the property. The lessor is the landlord who owns the property and allows its use.

If the tenant or tenants have bad credit or low income, the landlord may require a third party to the lease—a cosigner or guarantor. A guarantor, as the name suggests, is on the lease to guarantee the tenant honors the rental contract. Usually, this means that the guarantor agrees to pay the rent if the tenant doesn’t.


What Should Be Included in a Wisconsin Lease Agreement?

There are a lot of elements that should be in a lease, but the requirements of a written lease in Wisconsin are surprisingly minimal:

  • A lease must identify and be signed by all parties.
  • A lease must identify the address of the property being rented.
  • Finally, a lease must identify the amount and frequency of the rent payments.

Just because it only takes a few criteria to form a legal lease doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to write such short and vague agreements, however.

A well-written Wisconsin lease should include details like the term of the lease, the manner in which the rent is to be paid, the security deposit (if any), how the tenant should contact the landlord, the timing of repairs and requirements for the landlord accessing the property. These are just some items that a lease should include.

You can see an example of a well-drafted and inclusive Wisconsin lease in our free template.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What rights does a tenant have in Wisconsin?

A lease in Wisconsin is a contract between the tenant and landlord. Like any contract, both parties can negotiate the terms—at least in theory. In practice, landlords may be unwilling to alter their residential lease.

It doesn’t hurt to ask, however. It’s also important to know that a lease can’t contain terms that are illegal.

Does a lease need to be notarized in Wisconsin?

A Wisconsin lease does not need to be notarized to be valid and enforceable. In fact, notarizing a lease is extremely rare—increasingly so as more and more residential leases are e-signed.

How much can a landlord increase the rent in Wisconsin?

There are no caps on how much a landlord can increase the rent in most states. In Wisconsin, there are no rent controls.

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Jeffrey Johnson started his editorial career nearly 20 years ago as an editor and researcher for McGraw Hill and Pearson. After earning an MFA from Chapman University and his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, he combined his editorial and writing experience with his legal education. He served as the Managing Legal Editor for the websites Free Advice and Law Firm, and has been featured as a legal expert on The Manifest and Vice.

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