A torrent of evictions in Dane County only grew more severe in the past three months, according to the latest Tenant Resource Center evictions data. Landlords filed 619 eviction actions, involving approximately 500 households, from December 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023 – a 40 percent increase over the previous quarter and nearly double the number of evictions during those same months last year. Mirroring previous quarters, most of the evictions were filed due to nonpayment of rent: 538 households (87%) faced eviction due to unpaid rent with the average household owing roughly $2,500; another 18 (3%) due to non-rent related lease violations; and 37 (6%) due to “holding over” past the end of a lease term.
Most (74%) households had their cases dismissed due to the efforts of the EDDP and the Dane CORE rental assistance program, with the overwhelming majority of these households (~90%) able to remain in their homes after the conclusion of their cases. The remainder had their cases dismissed with a stipulated move-out date.
Sixty-two cases ended in judgments of eviction. Roughly 70% of these were default judgments due to the tenant not appearing for either their initial hearing date or their trial, while 11 households (19%) defaulted on stipulated dismissal agreements. The rest received eviction judgements at their trials. (Note: More than 70 cases are still ongoing.)
The EDDP program and its partners continue to be the crucial force working to lessen the power imbalance tenants face in eviction proceedings: Every tenant represented by an attorney this quarter secured representation through the EDDP.
Without programs like the EDDP, tenant households face a massive imbalance of power when it comes to legal representation in eviction proceedings. Landlords have attorneys appearing on their behalf in nearly half of all eviction actions and have even greater access to legal resources outside of appearances in court. From December 2022 to February 2023, tenant households were represented in just 24% of all eviction actions; a dramatic increase from prior to the EDDP, where tenants were typically represented in less than 1% of cases.
Q2 - Evictions by the Numbers
- 619 eviction filings as of February 23rd, 2023 involving ~500 renter households
- 116 repeat eviction filings against households who faced eviction at least twice in the past year
- 112 landlords filed evictions, with an average of 3.2 cases filed by each
- The largest share came from Mirus Sun Prairie LLC (68 filings)
- CMC2 New Fountains LLC (57 filings)
- Prima Management LLC (57 filings)
- Arbor Lakes at Middleton (56 filings)
- 4713 Cottage Grove Road Madison LLC (54 filings)
- Landlords were represented by an attorney in 250 filings (37%)
- Tenants were represented by an attorney in 161 filings (24%)