Lawyer speaks out on La Crosse’s rental regulations

Forgive Bernardo Cueto if he feels like bragging a little.

The La Crosse attorney is the one who represented landlords in a fight over the city’s rental registration and inspection rules.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers approved changes to state law that restricted local governments’ abilities to regulate rentals.

Cueto assisted that effort in La Crosse, successfully suing the city over its rental rules on behalf of dozens of landlords.

“To realize their own program is illegal, and I give them credit for voluntarily dismantling their program,” he said. “Almost completely, they’re making it legal now, instead of continuing to run an illegal program.”

Cueto had threatened further legal action earlier this year after the city was slow to adopt new state rules regarding rentals.

“We knew that if we pushed back hard enough the state was going to do the right thing,” Cueto said, “to change the state law and make it even clearer, that cities like La Crosse cannot treat landlords and tenants like they’re second class citizens.”

Under a threat of further litigation by Cueto, the city council just last week ended most parts of rental registration and inspection program to adhere to new state law.


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