Eviction Filings Rising With End of Wisconsin's Moratorium Amid COVID-19

State courts and tenant advocates are reporting a sharp increase in eviction filings this week after a two-month statewide moratorium on evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic expired Tuesday.

“Our phone is ringing off the hook now,” said Heidi Wegleitner, a Dane County Board member and attorney who works on behalf of tenants at Legal Action of Wisconsin.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ order halting evictions was signed March 27, replacing a pair of Dane County judicial orders that had the same effect locally but expired on April 17.

On Wednesday alone, nine were filed in Dane and 105 statewide. If those numbers prove indicative of filings in the coming weeks, the state would be on a pace for more than 3,100 evictions in June, including 270 in Dane County. 

Chris Mokler, director of legislative affairs for the Wisconsin Apartment Association, said landlords have been getting between 88% and 91% of their rents, which is down from what they usually get. 

“The key is communication, many of my clients do not want to evict their tenants and they are willing to work with them. But if the tenant doesn’t contact the landlord or manager and have not paid rent, then evictions will be filed,” said Tristan Pettit a Milwaukee-based attorney.

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