Wausau Renters Could get Rent Lowered if Landlords Don't Fix Problems

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Tenants in Wausau could get their rent lowered if landlords don't fix serious problems under a new proposal the city council will consider.

The process is called rent abatement. How it works is if a renter has an issue that violates city code and hasn't been fixed they contact the city. The city then sends a letter to the landlord. If after two requests to have it fixed it isn't, the renter can request a hearing.

In the hearing the Public Health and Safety Committee would hear from both the renter and landlord and then determine whether it's abatable. If so, the renter would have a percentage of their rent lowered retroactively until the problem is fixed.

Lisa Rasmussen, a Wausau city council member says the measure protects renters.

"It represents basically a new ray of hope for victim tenants who just have been living in poor conditions and felt they had no voice or no remedy," she said.

The process would only apply to serious code violations, nothing cosmetic.

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