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“I thought it was ridiculous!” Contact 6 shows you how to avoid renter’s remorse

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MILWAUKEE — If you rent a house or apartment, do you know your rights? Who would you call if something major happens? Usually, you'd call your landlord, but sometimes that's not enough.

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Joi Brown-Holland and Jeremy Wingo

Joi Brown-Holland and her fiancé  Jeremy Wingo had some issues in their rental home.

Video they showed to FOX6's Contact 6 shows water in their basement.

The couple says their landlord wouldn't fix the problem.

"Yea, there is a big leak in the foundation. And, he said, if that's the case you guys can just move and I'll sell the home," Brown-Holland recalled about an exchange over the issue with her landlord.

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Water in the basement of Joi Brown-Hollan and Jeremy Wingo's rental house.

The couple says their landlord wouldn't fix the problem and the issues went beyond the basement.

Brown-Holland says the bathroom and the kitchen sink stopped up and when she ran the dishwasher water leaked out on the floor.

Brown-Holland took video and pictures to prove it.

"We pay $1,150  rent. I thought it was ridiculous," Brown-Holland said.

The couple called Contact 6 for help.

Contact 6 does not handle issues between landlords and tenants.

However, there are places in the city that do like
the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS).

Stephanie Samarripa is the Community Outreach Landlord Training Facilitator.

She says tenants need to know how to protect themselves and they can find most of that information online.

"Check out the property, do the history on the property, CCAP the property owner to see if there is any litigation. You could call Department of Neighborhood Services to find out," Samarripa advised.

If you plan on renting a place, it's important to document the condition of the property when you move in.

You can document that with a check-in form. The form must be filled out and given to the landlord within in 7 days of move-in.Renter6

When your rental agreement is up and you plan to move out, you should do a walk-through of the property and complete similar paperwork called a check-out form.

"This one small form could save you from days and days in court or from litigating that is not necessary," Samarripa said.

Brown-Holland and Wingo learned that lesson the hard way. They're working out their issues with their landlord in court.

The couple has moved out of the property on North 85 Street.

According to online records, the house had several code violations. The landlord tells Contact 6 that it is the only rental property he owns and he doesn't understand the city's procedures.

He promised the problems would be fixed.

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Stephanie Samarripa

"No one's perfect. I'm learning," the landlord said.

The violations have been fixed and checked out by city inspectors.

Brown-Holland and Wingo are glad they moved.

"I am definitely feeling better now," Brown-Holland said.

Hopefully, what they've learned will keep you from having renter's remorse.

3 comments

    • LMY

      Paid inspection is for purchasing a home. Repairs of a rental is the responsibility of the landlord. That’s why no one wastes money on a inspection for a rental. Duh.

  • Metal Maniac

    Zolper Property management is another slum lord company. Our gas stove was leaking for several months before he decided to replace it. We have had a hole the size of a football in the bathroom wall since we moved in it is from a leaky faucet behind the wall. Luckily I move out end of month. A quick way to tell if a landlord is good or not I to read the lease over carefully. If there are a large amount of CYA lines for the landlord then you know you are dealing with someone who does not care for their tenants. “Tenants cannot deduct from rent for any reason” If a landlord has that line in there you know he has screwed people over before to the point where they had to make the repairs themselves.

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