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    Revisiting Wisconsin's Home Improvement Code

    With an increase in home improvement projects, consumer complaints about contractors have risen. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's code governs the conduct of home improvement contractors. Attorneys for contractors and homeowners should be familiar with the code, because violations invite government investigation, criminal prosecution, and civil liability.

    Mark Hinkston

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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 76, No. 10, October 2003

    Revisiting Wisconsin's Home
    Improvement Code


    With an increase in home improvement projects, consumer complaints about contractors have risen. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's code governs the conduct of home improvement contractors. Attorneys for contractors and homeowners should be familiar with the code, because violations invite government investigation, criminal prosecution, and civil liability.

    tool belt and work shoesby Mark R. Hinkston

    More people are investing in their homes and hiring home improvement contractors. Americans spend more than $118 billion per year on home improvements.1 This boom has resulted in an increasing number of consumer complaints2 and what the Wisconsin Court of Appeals has perceived as a "public outcry concerning the home improvement trade in the last several years."3 Fortunately, the Wisconsin Home Improvement Trade Practices Code ("the code"), effective in 1974, provides rules to govern home improvement transactions and remedy contractor improprieties.

    While most home improvement contractors are reputable, some perform grossly negligent work or engage in fraud. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has noted the necessity of protecting homeowners from such contractors "by placing a burden of regularity, evenhandedness and legal guidelines on the purveyors of the services."4 Yet many contractors are unfamiliar with the legal guidelines outlined in the code. Many homeowners also are unaware of the code and its remedies. Attorneys often are the first persons consulted when a home improvement project goes bad, so they are wise to possess a working knowledge of the code. This article discusses the code's genesis, parameters, and remedies, and interpretation by the courts. Practical considerations also are provided.

    Background

    Regulation of home improvement contractors varies widely from state to state.5 Most states have some regulation of the industry (although seven states do not regulate contractors at all and others rely on counties or municipalities to do so). Wisconsin's approach is more sophisticated than that of most other states, in that it has a comprehensive regulatory framework of statutes and regulations (the code), a committed and resourceful oversight agency (the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection), stringent criminal penalties, and potent civil remedies.

    Wisconsin's code emanates from the powers granted to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) by Wis. Stat. section 100.20, which regulates unfair trade practices and unfair methods of competition in business and vests in the DATCP the power to issue orders forbidding certain trade practices and to prescribe rules for fair trade practices and methods of competition.6

    Initially, the DATCP, via its order-issuing powers, instituted practices standards for several different trades.7 In 1941, the DATCP issued the "Roofing and Siding Order," which later became known as the "Building and Home Improvement Order."8 Over the ensuing years, the order was revised to broaden the number of trades and types of improvements within its reach.

    Today the order is known as the Home Improvement Trade Practices Code and is set forth in chapter ATCP 110 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. The code has been hailed as "no doubt the most comprehensive, and perhaps the most significant, general order that has been promulgated by the Department of Agriculture."9 It specifies prohibited trade practices in the home improvement industry, identifies the types of home improvement agreements that are to be in writing, sets forth required terms and conditions for written home improvement contracts, and describes the parties' rights and obligations upon contract cancellation.

    The Home Improvement Context

    The code cuts a wide swath. It refers to the contractor and homeowner as "seller" and "buyer," respectively. "Improvement" is defined as the "remodeling, altering, repairing, painting, or modernizing" of residential property. The code lists at least 15 types of improvements that are subject to the code, including construction, installation, replacement, improvement, or repair of driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, landscaping, fences, garages, basements, heating and air conditioning equipment, and floor coverings.

    Improvements must be to a residential or noncommercial property, generally defined as a structure used as a home or residence and all adjoining structures as well as "all other existing noncommercial structures and the immediate premises on which they are situated even though they are not used for residential purposes."10 While the code does not apply to the construction of a new residence, it does apply to the conversion of existing commercial structures into residential or noncommercial property.11 The code applies to leased property if a tenant is obligated to make payment under a home improvement contract.12

    Prohibited Trade Practices

    In general, under the code, a seller may not make "any false, deceptive or misleading representation in order to induce any person to enter into a home improvement contract," to obtain payment, or to delay performance.13 The code also sets forth many specific prohibited trade practices under the rubric of 10 categories,14 relating to identity, sales tactics, the nature of materials, pricing and payment, performance, and competition. The range of prohibited trade practices is illustrated in Figure 1.

    Precontract Notice Duties: Building Permits and Lien Waivers

    The code imposes well-defined duties upon contractors during initial seller-buyer communications, contract formation and execution, and performance. See Figure 2.

    Under the code, a contractor's obligations start before the contract is signed. Before contracting, a contractor is to inform the buyer of all construction and building permits that are needed for the project.15 To obtain a building permit, the contractor must obtain from the state a certificate of financial responsibility showing that the contractor is bonded or has liability insurance and, if applicable, has worker's compensation insurance and is making the required unemployment insurance contributions.16 The contractor also is required to disclose to a buyer that the buyer is entitled to receive written lien waivers.17

    The Written Contract Requirement

    Once the necessary precontract disclosures have been made, the contractor can turn to contract formation. Although the code applies to both written and oral home improvement contracts, it mandates that certain home improvement contracts must be in writing: 1) contracts requiring a payment before completion; and 2) contracts generated by door-to-door sales or telephone sales made away from the seller's regular place of business.18 Most transactions will require a written contract because it is rare for a contractor to perform work without some precompletion payment. Before a seller begins work or receives payment, the seller must provide a copy of the contract to the buyer.19

    Terms and Conditions. Where a written contract is mandated, it "shall be signed by all parties and shall clearly, accurately and legibly set forth all material terms and conditions of the contract." The code includes a specific list of items to be included in a home improvement contract. The contract must include: 1) the seller's name and address (and the name and address of any general contractor other than the seller); 2) a description of the work to be done and the principal products and materials to be used; 3) the total price, including finance charges; 4) the start and completion dates; 5) a description of any mortgage or security interest; 6) a statement of any warranty; 7) an identification of any other document that is incorporated into the contract; and 8) terms and conditions of any insurance coverage provided.20 Of all of these required terms, sellers most often neglect to include the start and completion dates.

    Warranties. All warranties must be in writing and provided to the buyer. Warranties must be clear and specify any conditions or exclusions, any limitations on scope or duration, and the time period within which the seller will perform the warranty obligations after a valid warranty claim is made.21

    Wisconsin Consumer Act: Right to Cancel. A home improvement contract that constitutes a "consumer approval transaction" also is subject to the Wisconsin Consumer Act (Wis. Stat. chapter 423).22 Thus, home improvement transactions that are initiated by face-to-face solicitation away from the contractor's regular place of business or by mail or phone solicitation and that are consummated away from the regular place of business are subject to the Wisconsin Consumer Act right to cancel. In these cases, the homeowner "customer" has the right to cancel the transaction within three business days after written notice is provided.23

    Wis. Stat. section 423.203 specifies the contents of the required notice and requires the contractor to provide two copies of the notice to the customer. Despite the fact that many home improvement transactions will qualify as "consumer approval transactions," many contractors neglect to include the mandated written "Customer's Right to Cancel" notice in the contract.

    Performance Obligations

    Once the contractor and homeowner agree on contract terms and execute the contract, performance should commence on the date specified in the written contract. The code imposes an obligation upon the contractor to perform as promised, in that a seller may not accept payment for materials or services that it either does not intend to provide according to the contract or has reason to believe will not be provided according to the terms of the contract.24

    One goal of the code is to prevent contractors from using project funds to pay for personal expenses or fund other projects. Thus, it imposes a "trust fund" obligation upon contractors. The code provides that a seller may not use any homeowner payment received before completion for any purpose other than to provide materials or services for the improvement.25 This provision is designed to protect homeowners from the danger that liens will be placed on their property when a contractor misappropriates money paid by the homeowner and fails to pay suppliers or vendors.

    Because a contractor is required to issue written lien waivers at or before the time of the buyer's final payment,26 it is often not until the project's end that the homeowner learns that waivers have not been procured. Often, this notice comes in the unfortunate form of a phone call, letter, or lien from an unpaid subcontractor or supplier.

    A further performance mandate under the code is that a seller may not request that the buyer sign a completion certificate or make final payment on the contract before the improvement is completed.27 This is obviously designed to protect against those contractors who "take the money and run" without completing the job.

    Code Violations: Homeowner Remedies and Criminal Prosecution

    When a contractor delays a project without justification, fails to pay a subcontractor, or flees without finishing despite a homeowner's full payment, damage to the homeowner is immediately evident. Yet some wrongs are far more subtle and, in fact, are not discovered for some time (for example, when the roof that was supposed to be repaired leaks or occupants swelter because the air conditioner that supposedly was fixed was not). Upon discovery of the code violations, buyers have a panoply of remedies. For unjustified delay, homeowners may cancel the contract. For code violations resulting in pecuniary harm, homeowners may initiate suit for restitutionary relief (money damages). Contractors also face investigation and injunction by the DATCP or criminal prosecution. (See remedies and penalties in Figure 3).

    Cancellation. In addition to the right afforded by the Wisconsin Consumer Act to cancel the contract within three business days, the code allows a buyer to cancel the contract by giving the seller written notice when: 1) the seller fails to perform by the specified deadline; 2) the seller fails to give written notice of an impending delay, specifying the reason for the delay and the new proposed deadlines by which the work will be completed; 3) the seller fails to get the buyer's agreement to a new performance deadline; or 4) the contract specifies no deadline, but the buyer believes that the seller has failed to perform in a timely manner.28

    In addition to canceling the contract, the buyer also may demand: 1) return of all payments that the seller has not yet expended on the improvement; 2) delivery of unused materials paid for by the buyer; and 3) a written accounting for all payments that the buyer made to the seller, detailing how all payments were used by the seller. If these requests are made, the seller must return payments within 15 days. Materials are to be returned within 15 days or within five days after the seller receives the materials from the seller's supplier, whichever occurs later. The requested accounting must be provided within 30 days.29

    Money Damages: Wis. Stat. section 100.20. Cancellation is not the buyer's exclusive remedy.30 If a contractor has engaged in unfair trade practices, the buyer may seek monetary damages in a circuit court action. Pursuant to Wis. Stat. section 100.20, a cause of action exists against contractors who engage in unfair trade practices. Any buyer who suffers a pecuniary loss as a result may sue for damages and, if successful, shall recover twice the amount of any pecuniary loss plus reasonable attorney fees.

    DATCP Investigation and Enforcement. Aggrieved buyers also have the option of initiating a complaint with the DATCP, which has the authority to issue orders restraining home improvement contractors from engaging in unfair practices and, conversely, requiring them to engage in fair practices.31 The DATCP has a Bureau of Consumer Protection devoted to investigating complaints. Almost 1,000 home improvement complaints were filed in 2002.32

    The DATCP also may commence an action in circuit court to restrain the violation of its orders. The circuit court has authority to order restitution. The Department of Justice (DOJ) also may investigate and file a complaint with the DATCP, which then adjudicates the complaint.33

    Criminal Prosecution and Civil Forfeitures. Wis. Stat. section 100.26 provides criminal sanctions for code violations. Violators may be fined between $25 and $5,000, imprisoned in the county jail for up to a year, or both.

    Pursuant to Wis. Stat. section 100.26(6), the DATCP or any district attorney may commence an action in the name of the state to recover a civil forfeiture of between $100 and $10,000 for each violation of an order or injunction issued under Wis. Stat. section 100.20. If the forfeiture is imposed for a code violation perpetrated against an elderly or disabled person, a supplemental forfeiture of up to $10,000 may be imposed.34

    In addition to the fines and forfeitures, a sentencing court must impose a "consumer protection assessment" of 25 percent of the total fine or forfeiture. The court also may order restitution and award to the DATCP its "necessary costs of investigation." Also, in cases in which the DOJ is involved, the court may award to the DOJ "the reasonable and necessary expenses of prosecution, including attorney fees," from any violator.35

    Practical Considerations for Contractors

    Name1

    Hinkston

    Mark R. Hinkston, Creighton 1988 cum laude, practices business litigation with Knuteson, Powers & Wheeler S.C., Racine. He is admitted to practice in Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado.


    With the foregoing outline of code requirements and remedies as a backdrop, there are several main points contractors and homeowners should consider during a home improvement transaction governed by the code.

    Criminal Intent Not Required. Some contractors are shocked that forgetting to include a contractual provision or to inform a homeowner of lien waivers invites liability, investigation, or prosecution. DATCP investigation or criminal prosecution may result from even the most unintentional inadvertence, such as failure to specify a start and completion date. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that criminal intent is not a prima facie element for prosecution under Wis. Stat. section 100.26(3), which is the criminal statute targeting "[a]ny person ... who intentionally refuses, neglects or fails to obey any regulation or order made or issued under s. 100.19 or 100.20."

    In State v. Stepniewski,36 the court held that the word "neglects" in the statute is not modified by the word "intentionally." The contractor in Stepniewski argued that the statute was meant to include only intentional conduct and that it is a due process violation to convict a person of a crime absent mens rea. The court disagreed, noting that the statute is "obviously intended to implement a high standard of care to protect the public; to accomplish this, it allowed a convicted wrongdoer to be punished pursuant to judicial discretion, in order to accomplish the public welfare concern that underlies the statute." The court also noted that "good, honest entrepreneurs" recognize the importance of being honest and forthright and "are not hurt by the law holding them strictly liable in a punitive statute which requires minimum standards of behavior."37

    Unenforceability of Contract. Contractors who violate the code face more than the possibility of criminal prosecution, civil forfeiture, or a lawsuit. Because the code's underlying intent is to protect homeowners, it is possible that a court would consider the subject contract unenforceable by the contractor.38 Thus, contractors who file suit to obtain payment may find themselves not only unable to collect, but also in the unenviable position of facing a counterclaim for double damages and attorney fees (although, as discussed later, they may have an equitable remedy in quantum meruit).

    Give Notice of Impending Delay. Sometimes a project will be delayed because of factors outside a contractor's control (such as weather or a shortage of material). To obtain a reprieve from the contractual obligations under these circumstances, the contractor must provide notice of the delay and get buyer consent to new deadlines, because it is a prohibited trade practice to fail to give a buyer timely written notice "of any impending delay in contract performance, if performance will be delayed beyond a deadline specified in the contract."39 The notice must specify the reasons for the delay and set forth new start and completion dates. For the deadlines to be effective, the buyer must agree to them in writing. Failure to give the notice can result in criminal prosecution and can also justify the buyer's cancellation of the contract.

    Put Changes in Writing. Even when an initial contract is in writing and complies with the code, some contractors neglect to put modifications in writing. Any changes to written contracts must be in writing and be signed by the parties.40 This includes the substitution of products and the extension of the completion deadline.41 Also, if a seller makes an oral warranty, it must be documented in writing.42

    Educate Employees. "Seller" includes corporations, partnerships, associations, and any other form of business entity and their officers, employees, agents, and representatives.43 A cry of "he or she is just an employee" will not get the company off the hook. Because code violations committed by employees are imputed to the employer, it is prudent to make sure that all employees are well-versed in code compliance.

    Bragging Rights. Finally, the code prohibits sellers from misrepresenting that the seller's materials or services are equal to or superior to those of a competitor.44 Although a contractor could look at this prohibition as leaving the door open for truthful boasting, contractors may not wish to test the waters in that regard, for fear that it may ultimately be shown that their self-aggrandizement and promotion clouded the unfortunate reality that their product is, in fact, inferior.

    Practical Considerations for Homeowners

    Read the Contract Carefully. Homeowners should diligently review the contract for onerous terms that violate the code. For example, provisions that penalize the homeowner for backing out of the deal are not tolerated. If the seller includes a liquidated damages clause, such damages may not exceed the lesser of 10 percent of the contract price or $100.45 Further, a seller cannot insulate itself from liability. A seller may not have a buyer waive the right to assert against the seller any claim or defense the buyer may have against the seller under the contract.46

    Not All Transactions are Covered. Not all residential construction projects are covered under the code. For example, the code does not apply to the construction of a new residence.47 The code also does not appear to apply to casual or informal transactions in which a friend, although in the business of making home improvements, does work gratis for another friend or "significant other."48

    "Buyer's Remorse" Breeds Feigned "Violations." A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case, Snyder v. Badgerland Mobile Homes Inc.,49 serves as a warning to homeowners who rely on the code to extricate themselves from what they might in hindsight consider to be a bad deal when, in fact, an alleged code violation resulted from actions undertaken to benefit the homeowner.

    In Snyder, the homeowners' suit against the contractor arose from a contract for installation of a bathtub in the homeowners' mobile home. They terminated the contract after they heard allegations that the contractor was unreliable and after deciding that they did not want to vacate their home during construction. In the ensuing litigation, they alleged that they had the right to cancel due to the omission of a start and completion date in the contract. But the court noted that the dates were omitted for the benefit and convenience of the Snyders "to allow them flexibility in choosing when to vacate their home" during the construction.50 The court refused to "allow the Snyders to profit from the omission of a requirement that was eliminated for their benefit."51

    No Damages, No Claim. The lure of "double pecuniary damages" on a claim under section 100.20 is strong. Yet the court in Snyder also reiterated that a section 100.20 claim is not viable if, even though there is evidence of unfair trade practices, there is no pecuniary loss.52 The court held that the Snyders had no cause of action, because they could not prove that any pecuniary loss resulted from the alleged omission of the start and completion dates.

    The Specter of Quantum Meruit. Homeowners relying on the code as a "way out" also should recognize that even if they fall victim to a contractor who has failed to comply with the code, that does not automatically vitiate the contractor's right to payment. Although contracts that do not comply with the code are unenforceable, a noncompliant contractor may still recover under a theory of quantum meruit for the reasonable value of the contractor's services (assuming that the services are of value).53 At least one commentator has criticized this anomaly, stating that "[a]llowing quantum meruit where the violation has been intentional makes the regulations ineffective."54

    Practical Considerations for Attorneys

    Contractors' Attorneys. Attorneys who represent contractors must stress to their clients that it does not pay to be cavalier or indifferent to code requirements. Courts and the DATCP take code violations seriously, as reflected by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals' admonition that "[t]here is no excuse for failing to follow" the code.55

    Code noncompliance can be costly, resulting in fines, civil forfeitures or penalties, monetary damages (including double damages and actual attorney fees), consumer protection assessments, department investigation expenses, and restitution amounts as well as invalidation of contractual recovery. The contract form a business uses may need tweaking or overhauling. It obviously pays to closely comply with all code provisions, and a contractor would likely prefer having its attorney notify it of the need to amend its contracts and practices rather than having the DATCP do so. Therefore, attorneys should take every advantage of the opportunity to review their clients' business practices and contracts to make sure that there is full and complete adherence to the code.

    Attorneys drafting or reviewing home improvement contracts should be certain that contract provisions over and above those required by the code do not run afoul of other potentially applicable statutes. For example, although the code does not expressly prohibit attorney fees clauses, such clauses are not allowed in "consumer credit transactions."56 Also, attorneys should consult the statutes relating to interest57 and delinquency charges58 to ensure that contractual provisions as to these items comply. Finally, attorneys should make sure that appropriate lien notices, as applicable, are included.59

    Homeowners' Attorneys. Not every client who claims to have been wronged by a contractor will prevail, as highlighted by Snyder v. Badgerland Mobile Homes Inc. Although a prevailing homeowner is entitled to recovery of attorney fees - an entitlement obviously designed to promote representation when a wronged homeowner might otherwise not be able to afford an attorney - some clients may be better served by involving the DATCP initially than by immediately filing a lawsuit. Homeowners' attorneys should be mindful of the resources and dedication of the DATCP to pursue and resolve violations.

    Conclusion

    Some commentators have suggested adopting a state uniform model home improvement code which, in addition to providing safeguards such as those Wisconsin has in place, would: 1) implement stricter licensing requirements, including the establishment of a contractor licensing and oversight board, mandatory training and continuing education, examinations, insurance and financial solvency requirements, and regular financial disclosure; and 2) establish a homeowner recovery fund, funded by licensing fees and fines, to pay restitution to victimized homeowners.60 Although the Wisconsin Legislature may consider some of these suggestions, until reforms are passed or a uniform code is adopted, Wisconsin's home improvement regulatory system remains one of the strongest and most comprehensive in the Midwest and appears to be quite effective in stemming the tide against contractor abuses.

    Although there is a noted dearth of case law applying and interpreting Wisconsin's Home Improvement Trade Practices Code,61 the courts that have had occasion to consider it have proffered valuable lessons. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has urged "anyone connected with the home improvement trade" to "first and foremost" follow the code "explicitly."62 Contractors and their counsel should be well aware of the code and the traps that can befall contractors if they ignore its provisions and the criminal, civil, and administrative penalties that can result for even inadvertent violations. For homeowners and their counsel, the lesson from the court of appeals in Snyder is that although the code is designed to protect at all stages of a project, it should not be asserted as a pretense to get out of a bad deal when, in reality, alleged violations have emanated from accommodations for the homeowners or resulted in no pecuniary damage.

    [Editor's note: This article has been revised since the printed version appeared]

    Endnotes

    1Elizabeth Renuart & Rich DuBois, Home Improvement Contractors: A Model State Statute, AARP Public Policy Institute, p. iv (June 1999).

    2Associated Press, Home Improvement No. 1 Cause of Consumer Complaints, Survey Says, Milw. J. Sent., Nov. 26, 2002.

    3State v. Balistrieri, 87 Wis. 2d 1, 274 N.W.2d 269 (Ct. App. 1978).

    4State v. Stepniewski, 105 Wis. 2d 261, 277, 314 N.W.2d 98, 105 (1982).

    5Renuart & DuBois, supra n. 1.

    6Wis. Stat. § 100.20(2).

    7Fred M. Wylie, The Regulation of Trade Practices by Codes, 12 Wis. L. Rev. 265, 275 (1937).

    8John G. Kellogg, Note, Czar in Lambskin? Administrative Regulation of Commercial Activities in Wisconsin, 1965 Wis. L. Rev. 133, 137, 141 n. 54.

    9James D. Jeffries, Protection For Consumers Against Unfair and Deceptive Business, 57 Marq. L. Rev. 559, 578 (1974).

    10Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.01(3).

    11Id.

    12Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.01(2).

    13Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(11).

    14Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02.

    15Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.03(1).

    16Wis. Stat. § 101.654.

    17Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(6)(n).

    18Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.05(1).

    19Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.05(3).

    20Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.05(2).

    21Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.04.

    22Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.08.

    23Wis. Stat. §§ 423.202, .203.

    24Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(7)(b).

    25Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(10). A contractor also faces "theft by contractor" charges pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 779.02(5), if payment amounts are used for anything other than labor or materials on the project prior to project completion.

    26Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(6)(L).

    27Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(6)(e).

    28Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.07.

    29Id.

    30Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.07(5).

    31See Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection Web site at datcp.state.wi.us/core/consumerinfo/.

    32Todd Richmond, Telecommunications Tops List of Complaints Again, Racine J. Times, Jan. 3, 2003.

    33Wis. Stat. § 100.20.

    34Wis. Stat. § 100.264.

    35Wis. Stat. §§ 100.261, .263.

    36105 Wis. 2d 261, 314 N.W.2d 98 (1982).

    37Id. at 278, 314 N.W.2d at 105.

    38Baierl v. McTaggart, 2001 WI 107, 245 Wis. 2d 632, 629 N.W.2d 277.

    39Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(7)(c).

    40Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.05(1).

    41Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(3)(d), (7)(c).

    42Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.04(1).

    43Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.01(5).

    44Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.02(8)(c).

    45Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.05(7).

    46Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.06(2).

    47Wis. Admin. Code § ATCP 110.01(2).

    48See, e.g., Bronk v. Kowalski, No. 83-542 (Wis. Ct. App. April 25, 1984) (unpublished opinion) (agreement between boyfriend and girlfriend did not fall under code).

    492003 WI App 49, 260 Wis. 2d 770, 659 N.W.2d 887.

    50Id. ¶ 18.

    51Id.

    52United States v. Schumacher, 154 F. Supp. 425, 430 (E.D. Wis. 1957). See also Jakubowski v. Rock Valley Builders Inc., No. 98-0811 (Wis. Ct. App. Nov. 25, 1998) (unpublished opinion) (Wis. Stat. section 100.20 "requires that damages be measured by pecuniary loss to the homeowner and that there be a causal connection between the code violation and the pecuniary loss").

    53Zbichorski v. Thomas, 10 Wis. 2d 625, 628, 103 N.W.2d 536, 537 (1960).

    54Kellogg, supra n. 8, at 143.

    55State v. Balistrieri, 87 Wis. 2d 1, 8, 274 N.W.2d 269 (Ct. App. 1978).

    56Wis. Stat. § 422.411(1).

    57Wis. Stat. §§ 138.05, 422.201.

    58Wis. Stat. § 422.203.

    59See, e.g., Wis. Stat. § 779.02(2).

    60Renuart & DuBois, supra n. 1.

    61Snyder, 2003 WI App 49, ¶ 22, 260 Wis. 2d 770; State v. Clausen, 105 Wis. 2d 231, 243, 313 N.W.2d 819, 825 (1982).

    62Balistrieri, 87 Wis. 2d at 8.




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