Estimates for security deposit withholding?

The Court of Appeals has rendered an unpublished decision which although is not binding is very informative as to how one Appellate Judge is interpreting Boelter v. Tschantz, 2010 WI App 18, 323 Wis.2d, 779 N.W.2d 467 (WI App 2009).

Boelter has been interpreted by many circuit courts to stand for the proposition that a landlord must show they have actually been damaged and have paid for those damages before they can withhold the amount from a tenant security deposit. This meant the landlord could not rely on written estimates for security deposit accounting.

In Smart v. Thompson, 2012 AP 2674, the appellate judge takes exception to that interpretation and claims the focus of Boelter had to do with the use of a professional rate of charge when the individual doing the work was not a professional.
Now the question is, will this decision lead circuit court judges and commissioners to loosen their hold on stringent requirements of security deposit accounting evidence.

This blog entry was prepared by Brian A. Schuk, partner, Wassel, Harvey & Schuk, LLP. It does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute legal authority.

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