Can my landlord not renew my lease because of a new baby?

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Can my landlord not renew my lease because of a new baby?

I lived at my 2bedroom apartment for 7
years. After my baby was born and i had
my gallbladder taken out, my landlord
tells me she isnt renewing my lease
because its too many people with the
baby.it was me and my husband, a 79
year old and new baby. Baby is 5 months
old. We had 2 months to move. After we
moved she kept our 600 security deposit
and now is trying to charge us an extra
850. We didnt damage anything. It was
already old when I moved in. Just needed
a carpet cleaning and wipe down maybe.
Can she do this to us?

Asked on December 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

What you describe is almost certainly illegal: Wisconsin law prohibits discriminating against people--such as by not renting to them--based on "family status," which would include having a child. (Here's a link to your state's Equal Rights Division--a webpage about illegal housing discrimination https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/er/civil_rights/housing/housing.htm.) It is also illegal to retain a security deposit unless the tenant owed the landlord money for unpaid rent or damage done to the rental unit. Contact the Equal Rights Division: you may well have a valid legal claim.


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