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Explanation of the Rental Weatherization Program

Starting January 1, 1985, most residential properties in Wisconsin have had to meet minimum energy conservation standards at the time of ownership transfer. Private state-certified inspectors are hired by owners to check properties for compliance with the standards. The Register of Deeds in your county will not record the transfer of a property unless:

The standards are the result of State legislation (s.101.122, Wis. Stats.) directing the Department of Commerce to develop energy conservation standards for rental units that have a payback of five years or less.

The benefits of these weatherization standards for residential rental properties include:

When Owners Must Comply

The code only applies to residential property when its ownership is being transferred, and when its use after the sale will be rental. "Transfer" means a transfer of ownership by deed, land contract, or judgment. In the case of a land contract, transfer occurs when the contract is entered into, not when the deed is transferred. Ownership conveyance also includes transfer of a controlling stock or controlling partnership interest or an interest in a lease in excess of one year, which was contracted after January 1, 1985. The Code applies to rehabilitations, even though buildings may be vacant during the period of renovation. It also applies to buildings purchased for resale. If buildings are not resold within one year, they must meet the standards of the Code.

The Weatherization Standards

The following weatherization standards are code requirements:

Exemptions to a Standard

If an owner can show that a specific weatherization measure for a building will take more than 5 years to achieve payback, Commerce may issue an exemption from that measure. When filing for an Exemption, the cost of compliance with such a requirement must be documented and reasonable. An application form with a step-by-step payback calculation is available from Commerce. After issuance, the Exemption number is transcribed onto the Certificate of Compliance by the inspector.

How to Satisfy a Stipulation

I am a State-certified Rental Weatherization Inspector who can inspect the property and determine what requirements are needed to meet the State Code. Actual fees are based on rental size in and number of units. However, the maximum fee for inspection and certification is set by code. This fee includes an initial inspection, the Field Inspection Report, a final inspection for compliance, and the issuing of the certificate.

At the end of the inspection, the inspector will leave you a copy of a Field Inspection Report and will discuss the requirements with you.

  1. Either hire a contractor, or perform the work yourself, to bring the building into code compliance.
  2. After completion of the work, you contact the inspector and request a final inspection. The inspector will re-inspect the property, and then issue a Certificate of Compliance if all requirements are satisfied. The owner will receive the original Certificate, which should be recorded at the County Register of Deeds. The inspector will send a copy of the Certificate to the Dept. of Commerce, which then satisfies the stipulation.
  3. Work must be completed and the Certificate issued within 1 year of the date of the Stipulation.

Information was taken from the Wisconsin Rental Weatherization Program Code Comm 67