Q3 Report - Overview - Eviction In Dane County

Eviction filings slowed slightly in the past three months, according to the latest Tenant Resource Center evictions data. Landlords filed 584 eviction actions, involving approximately 560 households, from March 1, 2023 to May 31, 2023 – a 6 percent decrease compared to the previous quarter but still roughly 75% more than the same months last year. In all, EDDP staff and partners assisted in 846 hearings as well as 9 trials.

Mirroring previous quarters, most of the evictions were filed due to nonpayment of rent: 446 households (84%) faced eviction due to unpaid rent with the average household owing roughly $2,681; another 34 (6%) due to non-rent related lease violations; and 48 (9%) due to “holding over” past the end of a lease term.

Most (86%) households had their cases dismissed due to the efforts of the EDDP, its partners, and the Dane CORE rental assistance program. Around one-third of these cases were dismissed due to stipulated dismissal agreements.

Of cases in this quarter, 78 ended in judgments of eviction. 80% of these were default judgments due to the tenant not appearing for either their initial hearing date or their trial, which includes twelve tenants who appeared at one hearing but defaulted at a later one. Another 16 households defaulted on stipulated dismissal agreements. The rest lost at their eviction trials. (Note: 78 cases are still ongoing).

A total of 93 writs were executed, which authorize the sheriff to remove a tenant from their home.

The EDDP program and its partners continue to be the crucial force working to lessen the power imbalance tenants face in eviction proceedings: EDDP attorneys represented tenants in 123 cases, achieved 97 dismissals, and prevailed in 5 cases at trial.

Without programs like the EDDP, tenant households face a massive imbalance of power when it comes to legal representation in eviction proceedings. Landlords are much more likely to have legal representation at eviction court and they have greater access to other legal resources outside of court. From March 2023 to May 2023, tenant households were represented in 21% of all eviction actions; a dramatic increase from prior to the EDDP, where tenants were typically represented in less than 1% of cases.

Q3 - Evictions by the Numbers

  • 584 eviction filings as of March 31st, 2023 involving ~560 renter households
  • 25 repeat eviction filings against households who faced eviction at least twice in the past year
  • 243 landlords filed evictions, with an average of 2.3 cases filed by each. The largest share came from Valley View Apartments (21 filings); Arbor Lakes at Middleton (18); Madison Meadows LLC (17); Prima Management (16); and PMM, LLC (15)
  • Landlords were represented by an attorney in 175 filings (30%). Tenants were represented by an attorney in 126 filings (21%)