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Supreme Court Ruling on Eviction Records - What It Means for Landlords

Supreme Court Ruling on Eviction Records - What It Means for Landlords

We want to update you on a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that significantly impacts our tenant screening process in the State of Wisconsin. Effective July 1, 2025, the court has revised the rules for retaining eviction records in the online CCAP system.  Currently, eviction records are purged from the onlne search results after two years.  As you can imagine, this is very limiting as we attempt to screen applicants.  With this new ruling, eviction cases where no money judgment is entered will now be retained for only two years, there is a crucial provision allowing records involving a writ of restitution (sheriff order to remove tenants) to be kept for ten years. This change is designed to balance tenant protections with the need for landlords to access important data on serious eviction cases.

At Candlewood Property Management, we understand the frustration the two year limitation brings. Restricting access to eviction records to a two-year window for non-monetary judgments can hinder our ability to fully evaluate potential tenants. However, the ten-year retention for writs of restitution provides a significant benefit. This extension ensures that we can still access vital information on more severe eviction cases, aiding in making informed and responsible tenant screening decisions.

The ruling followed extensive public comments and hearings, reflecting input from tenant advocates and landlord representatives. Tenant advocates argued that long-term retention of eviction records often unfairly hinders individuals from finding new housing, even when evictions were not due to financial irresponsibility. Conversely, landlords and property managers, including those from Candlewood Property Management, expressed concerns about reduced access to crucial information that helps us make informed rental decisions. The compromise reached in this ruling seeks to protect tenants' rights while ensuring landlords have access to pertinent eviction records for a reasonable period.

At Candlewood Property Management, we are committed to supporting and advocating for legislation that benefits property investors. We will continue to monitor these changes closely and ensure our practices adapt to maintain the quality and reliability of our tenant screenings.