Landlord Tenant COVID-19 FAQs

​​​Updated October 13, ​2021

Spanish FAQs/Preguntas frecuentes en Español​​

The Federal moratorium on residential evictions ended on August 26, 2021.

What was the federal order halting residential evictions issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

From September 4, 2020, through August 26, 2021, there was a federal moratorium on residential evictions due to failure to pay rent because of the impacts COVID-19 had on tenants who meet certain criteria. 

I thought the CDC Eviction Moratorium was extended until October 3, 2021. Why did it end early?

On Thursday, August 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ended the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium.  Prior to the decision the latest extension was to have ended on October 3, 2021.

Now that the federal order is over, am I still protected from eviction due to failure to pay rent?

No. The federal moratorium on residential evictions ended on August 26, 2021. Landlords can now file for eviction for non-payment of rent. Evictions orders can now be enforced.

​Are resources and funding still available to assist in the payment of rent?

Yes, federal legislation in December 2020 included $25 billion in emergency rental assistance for states and local government entities. Households may be eligible to receive assistance to pay rent, utility payments, or for unpaid rent and/or unpaid utility bills.

For information on the Department of Administration (DOA) Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program visit: DOA WI Emergency Rental Assistance Program. For information on eligibility and how to apply for benefits visit: WERA Frequently Asked Questions English (wiscap.org).

​The eviction moratorium has ended and my tenant is behind on rent. I'm considering eviction. What can I do?

Submit a landlord inquiry or refer your tenant to the rent assistance programs at SDCCommunity Advocates; or DOA WI Emergency Rental Assistance Program. They may be eligible for assistance paid directly to the property owner who covers both back rent as well as potential future rent. You will not receive the assistance if the tenant is evicted. If your tenant applied for rent assistance and you have not received a payment, please provide time for the application to be processed. Average turnaround times for rent assistance applications are around 30 business days. Waiting to be notified of the outcome of a rent assistance application can be difficult, but know that funds are being distributed at this time.

Another option is to consider mediation. Many landlords find that mediation works better for them than court. Tenant-landlord mediation can be faster, less expensive, and less stressful than taking your tenant to court, while achieving similar results. Learn more at Mediation in Wisconsin - Tenant Resource Center or https://www.mediatewisconsin.org (for the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County).

​My Landlord has filed an eviction against me in court. Is it too late to apply for funding or make a deal to avoid eviction?

No. If a landlord has filed in court for an eviction proceeding you will have a court date scheduled in the future.

To prepare, you should:

If the eviction process continues and you are not represented, continue to seek free or low cost legal assistance.

​Can my landlord evict me for not paying late fees assessed during the moratorium?

Yes. If you missed rent payments, even while protected from eviction during the moratorium, your landlord can assess late fees as provided in the lease, and can file for eviction if those late fees are not paid.

Note: DATCP promulgated an emergency rule to prohibit the charging of late residential rental fees and penalties from April 25, 2020, which stayed in effect until June 24, 2020. This was an effort to provide some relief to tenants who had been affected by the COVID-19 economic challenges. Fees and penalties may never be assessed or charged to a tenant for the period the emergency rule was in effect (April 25, 2020 to June 24, 2020).

I have already received a notice from my landlord to pay rent or they will file an eviction. Will they have to give me a new notice?

No, that landlord does not need to provide the tenant with a new notice of eviction.

A court has already ordered my eviction, but that eviction was halted. Will there need to be a new proceeding, or can the eviction order be executed?

No, there does not need to be a new proceeding. The eviction order can be executed.

Besides eviction, what else can landlords do if they did not receive rent payments?

While the eviction moratorium has ended, landlords and tenants are encouraged to make reasonable, good faith efforts to work together. Landlords can see if the tenant is aware of the DOA Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program to help the tenant gain assistance for rent payments DOA WI Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Repayment plans can be negotiated to allow tenants to catch up on rent, and these plans are often a faster and more stable way of recouping past due rent than the eviction process.

Will there be any delays in eviction proceedings due to the eviction moratorium ending?

The scheduling and holding of court eviction hearings will depend on each court's procedures and caseload. For information on current circuit court operations, please see the COVID-19 tab on the following webpage: Wisconsin Court System (wicourts.gov). For the most up-to-date information regarding individual county operations, please visit their website or contact the clerk of circuit court office.

What can I do if I think my landlord is evicting me illegally?

Additional Federal Resources

Have evictions been suspended for tenants livin​​g in Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured Single Family properties?​

The eviction of tenants from properties secured with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding evictions of legally vacant or abandoned properties ended September 30, 2021.

For more information on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidance related to COVID-19, please see the following resources:  COVID-19: Resources for Renters | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the WHEDA FAQ.

 

May a landlord refuse to rent to a person because the person might be at risk for COVID-19? May a landlord evict a tenant because the tenant has, had, or is at risk for COVID-19?

Discrimination in housing is unlawful (Wis. Stat. § 106.50). Refusing to rent or making housing unavailable because a person has, had, or is at risk for COVID-19 might violate the prohibition of discrimination in housing. If a prospective or current tenant thinks that a landlord has engaged in discrimination by refusing to rent or by making housing unavailable because of COVID-19, that person may file a complaint with the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development. 

 

Information for Home Owners 

I am a homeowner and have suffered financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.  Where can I seek assistance?

The Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources (DEHCR) will administer the new Wisconsin Help for Homeowners (WHH) Program. WHH will provide mortgage assistance to qualified households in the State of Wisconsin. Funding is available from the U.S. Department of Treasury through the Homeowners Assistance Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The WHH program provides housing grants to owner-occupied households who have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship, based on income level.

Eligible types of expenses under this program may include but are not limited to: mortgage and interest payments, real estate taxes, condominium and association fees. The property must be the owner's primary residence. Vacation homes, rentals, cabins, and second homes are ineligible for assistance through WHH. For more information, please visit: WHAF@wisconsin.gov

 

Have foreclosures of properties financed or guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) been extended?

Yes, if you have a home loan backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA your mortgage servicer is authorized to approve initial COVID hardship forbearance requests until the COVID-19 National Emergency is officially over. Previously the deadline was set for September 30, 2021. Homeowners and renters can also visit www.consumerfinance.gov/housing for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections, and key deadlines from USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection ​Bureau.​


Landlord Tenant Resources

Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program information

UW-M Neighborhood Law Clinic (NLC): provides a broad range of legal services including rental housing and employment law 

UW-M Center for Financial Security: Webinar Information and Reources for Landlords, Tenants, and Homeowners during the COVID-19 Crisis​

Oficina para la Protección Financiera del Consumidor: Encuentre ayuda para pagar renta y servicios básicos

Wisconsin PSC: Broadband and Emergency Internet Resources​

CFPB resource: Infromation on Mortgage and Housing Assistance Resources​

ReedSmith CARES Act provisions ​Information on resources for Landlords

ReedSmith CARES Act landlord-tentant questions

Information on assistance available to renters living in Fannie Mae financed properties

RentPrep guide to COVID19 resources for Landlords and Renters​