If you are a low income tenant and/or a senior, you may be eligible for free or low-cost legal assistance.
Harassment is any act or omission by or on behalf of an owner that (i) causes or is intended to cause any person lawfully entitled to occupancy of a dwelling unit to vacate such dwelling unit or to surrender or waive any rights in relation to such occupancy, and (ii) falls into a category of acts or omissions identified in the law.
Double damages for violations of chapter 704 are only allowed between 3/31/12 and 2/28/14. • City of Madison residents have the same protections they do in the Consumer Protection regulations, but the burden of proof is put on the landlord, meaning they have to show they weren't retaliating, or the tenant will win.
from Wisconsin Statute 704.45, "Retaliatory Conduct Prohibited" The law protects tenants from landlords who would retaliate against tenants for trying to exercise their rights.
The legislature, courts, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection have all created protections recognizing that tenant rights are meaningless if tenants will not use them for fear of landlord retaliation.
Tenants can initiate an action in Housing Court based on a claim of harassment (see more on how you can get assistance with these cases below in Seek Legal Assistance).
The Court is to presume that certain acts or omissions in a multiple dwelling were intended to cause such person to vacate such dwelling unit or to surrender or waive any rights in relation to such occupancy, unless the property owner can provide satisfactory evidence otherwise.