All homes (owner-occupied and rentals) in the City of Eau Claire will be surveyed at least once every 5 years to identify homes with the highest safety and health concerns. Inspectors will contact selected houses by mail to request a required inspection.
An exterior survey will be done to evaluate the conditions of all homes within the city. Items that are observed during the survey may include: chimney, roof, siding, windows, foundation, garage, etc. Homes may then be scheduled for a required inspection of their home (inside and outside) from the following:
- exterior survey results
- number of complaints against the property
- age of property
- if the house contains any rental units
- documented cases of retaliatory eviction
- A letter will be sent to request a time for a required inspection at least 21 days prior to conducting the inspection.
- The property owner or property manager is encouraged to attend the inspection.
- If it is a rental unit the landlord must notify the tenant about the inspection.
- Advance notice means at least 12 hours advance notice to the tenant, unless the tenant upon being notified of the proposed inspection time consents to a shorter time period.
- The owner of the property will then have 5 days to arrange an inspection appointment.
- In the time between receiving the letter requesting the inspection and the inspection date, the property owner should go through the housing inspection checklist and correct any violations before the inspection occurs.
- There will be a program fee of $90 per unit associated with the inspection.
- If violations are corrected before the inspection date and no violations are found during the inspection, then the inspection fee(s) will be waived.
- A written report stating violations and the date by which the corrections must be made will be given to the property owner. We can answer any questions and explain the report after the inspection. Failure to correct violations may result in further legal action.
- If violations are not corrected by the agreed upon date, a $125 re-inspection fee per unit may be issued. In addition to re-inspections, failure to correct violations may result in further legal action.
- If all violations are corrected by the re-inspection date, re-inspection fee(s) will be waived.
How do I remain anonymous when making a complaint?To remain anonymous, contact the Health Department via phone (715) 839-4718 or send a letter to 720 Second Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54703. Your complaint will be referred to an inspector and a complaint investigation will be made.
How do I report a housing/garbage violation?
How is a housing/garbage complaint handled?All complaints made by the public or partnering agencies concerning general maintenance or other housing or garbage code violations will be responded to within 3 working days. If a complaint is reported to be potentially serious to health and safety it will be responded to no less than 24 hours after the complaint is made. An inspector will meet with the complainant or homeowner to investigate the complaint.
I believe I was evicted for reporting violations regarding the conditions of my home, what should I do?
- If a tenant reports violations related to landlord-tenant law or housing conditions (unsanitary or unsafe), the landlord cannot evict the tenant in retaliation. Contact the Health Department and speak with an inspector if you believe a retaliatory eviction has occurred.
- No person or tenant may be retaliated against for complaints against violations of the City Code or ordinances, City-County Board of Health regulations, or any state or local regulation related to landlord-tenant law or housing conditions.
- Retaliation may include:
- inconsistent rent payment increases
- failure to perform promised repairs
- refusal to renew a lease or other harassment of the tenant committed by the landlord or their agents, or threatening any of the above statements.
- Any such acts shall be presumed to be retaliatory if committed within six months after the tenant has complained to any state or local investigatory or enforcement agency of violations of this chapter or other violations related to landlord-tenant law or housing conditions.
- In order to overcome the belief that such acts are retaliatory, the landlord must show supporting evidence that such acts were based upon good cause.
I have a rodent/pest problem. Is it my responsibility to fix the problem or my landlord's?
The following are when it is the tenant's responsibility to fix the rodent/pest problem:
- Every tenant of a single housing unit (home or an apartment) is responsible for getting rid of any insects, rodents or other pests in or around their home.
- Every tenant of a home or apartment in a building containing more than one housing unit (for example an apartment complex) is responsible for getting rid of the rodents/pests whenever their housing unit is the only one infested. For example, if you live in an apartment complex that has multiple housing units and your apartment is the only one infested, you are responsible for fixing the rodent/insect problem.
The following are when it is the landlord/homeowner's responsibility to fix the rodent/pest problem:
- Whenever the problem is caused by the failure of the owner to maintain a home in a rodent-proof or reasonably insect-proof condition, it is the responsibility of the owner to fix the rodent/pest problem.
- Whenever the rodent/pest problem is in two or more housing units in the apartment complex, or in the shared or public parts of any apartment or home containing two or more housing units, fixing the rodent/pest problem shall be the responsibility of the owner.
Should I attempt to speak with my landlord first, or just call in my complaint?
- The Housing Code 16.08 requires you to speak with your landlord first:
The occupant shall report unsafe or unhealthy conditions to the owner. The owner shall investigate occupant reports of unsafe or unhealthy conditions and, if necessary, make needed repairs in a timely manner. 16.08.070(F)
- If you suspect a gas leak leave your home immediately and call your service provider or call 911.
What do I do if I do not agree with a violation stated in the inspection report or the time frame given to repair/fix the issue?If you are not in agreement with the cited violation(s), you may request and shall be granted a hearing on the issue before the Housing Advisory Board. A written petition needs to be filed with the Health Inspector requesting such a hearing, with a brief statement of what is not being agreed upon within ten (10) days of the receipt of the inspection report.
What enforcement may be taken if violations are not corrected by the agreed upon time?
- An extension may be granted if progress is being made and a mutually agreed date for completion is established between the health inspector and the property owner. A written proposal is also required for an extension.
- Re-inspection fee of $125 for each re-inspection will be issued.
- If nothing is being completed after re-inspection(s), citations will be issued for each violation still standing.