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Housing: Tenants’ Responsibilities

In July we discussed ways renters could get satisfaction when landlords fail to keep up their property. This month we will take a brief look at tenant responsibilities, and next month we will begin to take a more in-depth look at the practices of those who are in the business of being a landlord in Riverwest. Got a question you’d like answered? Please e-mail or write us at 733 E. Clarke St., Milwaukee, 53212. Tenant’s Responsibilities While the property owner is responsible for many maintenance items, tenants also have responsibilities and may be liable under the law if they don’t fulfill their responsibilities. Some of the major tenant responsibilities include: FIRE SAFETY – Don’t tamper with the smoke detector or remove its battery. – Test your smoke detector regularly. If it doesn’t work, notify the owner in writing. – Piles of trash must be removed. They can cause a fire and keep you from escaping if there is a fire. CLEANLINESS – Keep your unit clean to help control rats and roaches. – Keep your appliances, stove, oven, refrigerator, etc., clean to help control rats and roaches. – Put your trash and garbage in the garbage carts or dumpsters. – Keep your bathroom fixtures clean and clear of things that will clog them. If any of the above items are not complied with, it may be a violation of the law that could be grounds for prosecution, possibly resulting in a fine of $150 to $10,000. It could also result in your being evicted. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 9 – September 2003