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City, insurance company to review landlord lawsuit


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Four landlord groups are challenging the City of Wausau’s new inspection ordinance.  The ordinance passed in 2013, and requires landlords and renters to submit to inspections every three years to show compliance with city housing and maintenance codes.

BC II Properties, L&L Properties, Riverbend Development and the Wausau Area Apartment Association filed the suit July 7th, and it was served on the Wausau City Clerk this week. Wausau City Attorney Anne Jacobson says the lawsuit is under review now.  “Well, we haven’t yet fully reviewed the suit that was just recently served on us, I believe on Wednesday, but we have referred it to our insurer and look forward to discussing the matter with them next week.”

Jacobson says it is standard procedure to forward claims and lawsuits to the city’s insurer before proceeding any farther.

The City Attorney says the court will require Wausau to respond to the claims very soon.  “According to the suit that was filed, I believe they gave us twenty days to respond, so there is a timeline that has begun that we’ll need to address.”

The landlord groups claim the ordinance creates costly and invasive inspections that they have to pay for, and that the ordinance violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by allowing unreasonable searches and seizures and requiring access to rented properties, even if the tenant refuses entry.