Human Health Hazards

The Health Officer, or designee, following WI State Statute 254.59 investigates human health hazard complaints. Abatement orders may be issued by the Health Officer or designee. 

Completing a Complaint Form

Unfortunately there may be circumstances where it is necessary to fill out a complaint form and deliver it to the health department in order for them to take action on a human health hazard. Please note that this should not be the first action taken concerning an issue. Communication with the party in question should always be a first priority and an attempt should be made to settle the matter without involving the health department or other agencies if at all possible.


The complaint form is simple; it will ask you which party the complaint is concerning and their relationship to you, your personal information (you can request to remain anonymous if possible but you must still fill out the personal information section), and the details surrounding the complaint. The complaint information should be as detailed as possible. THIS COMPLAINT FORM MUST BE FILLED OUT BEFORE CONTACTING THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. 

Complaint Form Download

The form is available for download below either as a fillable or printable form. 

Landlord/Tenant Relations and Human Health Hazards

One area where human health hazard complaints tend to be more common is within rental communities. Arguments can arise over what upkeep is the landlord's responsibility, what upkeep is the tenant's responsibility, what the condition of the property was before the tenant moved in versus after the tenant moved in, and many other subjects that may be confusing or difficult to resolve. 
Fortunately, there are some steps available to make disagreements like these less likely to occur in the first place and there are also resources available to address these issues if they do arise. 
  • Complete a check-in form whenever you move into a new property. 
    • The check-in form includes a checklist of areas to inspect when moving into a property. 
    • This provides documentation revealing what areas of the property were in need of repairs before the tenant moved in.
      • Documentation helps the tenant avoid being charged for issues they weren't responsible for. 
    • Both the tenant and the landlord should sign the document. 
  • Reference this landlord/tenant responsibilities document if a disagreement arises over which party is responsible for a specific repair/maintenance issue. 
    • Generally, lower-cost minor maintenance of plumbing, equipment, etc. is the tenant's responsibility, while major repairs and maintaining heating, plumbing, electrical systems, etc. are the landlord's responsibility. 
  • Visit the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protections' page on tenant's rights and responsibilities, as well as their page on landlord/tenant guidelines
    • The second link listed above contains a particularly useful document, the Landlord/Tenant Guide, which details the responsibilities of tenants and landlords. It's similar to the document provided earlier but is much more extensive. 
  • This tenant resource center brochure contains information about services (such as housing counseling) and education for both tenants and landlords.
Filling out a complaint form: 


If you need legal representation and may not be able to afford it:

Judicare is a non-profit law firm that represents low-income individuals in the Northern Wisconsin area. Their goal is to provide legal assistance to those who cannot otherwise afford it. One of their areas of practice is landlord/tenant disputes. You can contact them by following this link to their website.