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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
"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.