- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on a Republican bill that would relax local regulations on landlords (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The state Assembly has approved a Republican bill that would limit rental property inspections and make evicting tenants easier.

The chamber approved the bill 58-34 Tuesday. It now goes to the state Senate.

Under the bill, local governments could conduct rental property inspections only in blighted and high-complaint areas. If an inspection doesn’t reveal a violation inspectors couldn’t return to the property for five years. Local governments also would be prohibited from inspecting rental property that’s less than eight years old.

Court-ordered eviction stays for tenants applying for emergency assistance would be limited to 10 days, a landlord or tenant waiver of a violation of a rental contract couldn’t be a defense in an eviction case.

Owners of historic properties would be allowed to make repairs using modern materials and landlords couldn’t discriminate against potential tenants who need emotional-support animals.

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6:25 a.m.

The Wisconsin Assembly is set to take up a bill that would relax local regulations on landlords.

Under the bill, local governments could establish rental property inspection programs only in blighted areas and areas with numerous complaints, decreasing property values or increases in single-family home conversions to rental units. If an inspection doesn’t reveal a violation or the violation is corrected within a month further inspections would be prohibited for five years.

Local governments would be prohibited from enacting ordinances based on a building’s aesthetics. Stays of eviction for tenants applying for emergency assistance would be limited to 10 days. Landlords could charge potential tenants $5 more for credit reports and charge out-of-staters up to $25 for a background check.

The Assembly is set to vote on the measure Tuesday.

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The bill is AB 771.

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