According to the City's Rental Ordinance, it is unlawful for any person to own, operate, manage, or maintain a single- or multiple-household dwelling in Madison as a rental property without a current and valid Rental License issued by the City for each separate location. It is also unlawful for any person to occupy any such dwelling that does not have a current and valid Rental License.

A written application for a Rental License, signed by the owner or his/her agent, must be filed with the City, along with payment of a $100 rental and inspection fee payable in cash or check to the City of Madison. Owners must also post and maintain in effect a $10,000 bond, collateral or letter of credit as surety with the application (Rental Application and Bond Form). Inspections are scheduled after receipt of the above and no power will be transfered to tenants until all the above paperwork is received and the rental property has passed inspection and a Certificate of Compliance awarded.

Certificates of Compliance are good for one year from the date of issuance. The $100 rental and inspection fee are due annually upon the expiration of the valid Certificate of Compliance. If a tenant changes any time during the year, only a new application is required unless it is time for the annual renewal.

If an owner sells or otherwise conveys his/her interest in a home for which a Rental License is currently issued, the new owner must notify the City within 30 days after such sale or conveyance and provide the City with all information required of the original owner on the application for a new Rental License. The new owner also must post a bond, collateral, or letter of credit as surety as was required of the original owner and schedule an inspection of the property to obtain a new Certificate of Compliance.