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Landlords get new leeway for rental properties


MADISON (WSAU) Many Wisconsin landlords will soon have more leeway in deciding which tenants they'll allow. Governor Scott Walker signed a bill yesterday to make communities drop local ordinances that limit-or-prohibit building owners from using things like income, credit histories, rental histories, and criminal records in deciding on tenants.

Supporters say the new law will end decades of regulations that went way too far against landlords. But tenant groups say it will eliminate long-established protections. Last spring, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said it would eliminate landlord-tenant rules that took years to hash out. And he said lawmakers did not give communities enough time to review the bill.

The governor signed 21 measures into law yesterday. They include limits on legal fees in consumer fraud cases -- new legal protections to property owners who kill intruders -- and letting communities set earlier hours to sell beer-and-booze at liquor stores. Communities will have the option of letting those shops open at 6 a-m instead of eight.