police crime criminal evictionLandlords could evict tenants in five days if they suspect criminal activity under a Republican-backed plan to rewrite Wisconsin’s landlord-tenant laws.

Backers of the plan said that if police don’t investigate criminal behavior, it can leave landlords with few options. Attorney Tristan Pettit, who represents landlords in tenant disputes, said he supports the change.

“This is used for criminal activity,” said Pettit. “The drug dealing. The beating somebody up. The threatening. The shooting off of guns. That is what we need this for, because right now, landlords cannot do anything about that.”

Critics, like state Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, said the plan gives landlords too much power.

“You can now take some kind of legal action against a citizen that other people can’t do and get that person evicted when they’ve not been convicted of a crime,” Bewley said.

Tony Gibard, with Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said the proposal could end up hurting victims of crimes.

“I just want the committee to think about what that means in the life of a domestic violence victim who may have just been beaten, bloodied and brutalized and has five days to figure out what to do,” Gibard said.

The bill would let tenants ask a judge to block their evictions.

Source: wpr.org