Learn the Law: Developing better landlord-tenant relations

Housing is critical to everyone’s lives, says retired Judge Jim Rieckhoff, and “stable housing is ideal.”

law-01Throughout his 30 years on the bench in Elkhart Superior Court 5, Rieckhoff saw numerous cases related to landlord-tenant issues. He’ll be presenting common issues and taking questions during three upcoming “Learn The Law” sessions at Elkhart Public Library in the hopes of avoiding unhealthy and unproductive landlord-tenant relationships.

* Tuesday, Aug. 15 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown location, 300 S. Second St. (attendees are invited to bring their lunch)
* Wednesday, Aug. 16 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the downtown location, 300 S. Second St.
* Wednesday, Aug. 23 – 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pierre Moran location, 2400 Benham Ave. (session to be conducted in Spanish and led by Jose Elizalde of LaCasa, with Judge Rieckhoff taking questions; a children’s program will be available for families)

“What I saw (as judge) was an awful lot of unstable housing and the consequences of such. Sometimes problems are caused by landlords, sometimes tenants, and sometimes both. That causes disruption, stress and strain for both,” Rieckhoff says. “The more people who know about the court system in the event that they have to use it, the better.”

The sessions will offer information on creating balanced relationships, how to exit situations as painlessly as possible, and how to navigate the court system if necessary. Rieckhoff values the Q&A portion of the program, saying, “I don’t know what they know and don’t know, but if they ask questions I can focus on what they want to know and respond appropriately.”

All three presentations will have the same general content. Attendees will be able to submit questions anonymously during the event.

“I hope people will walk away with more learning than they came with,” Rieckhoff says, “and that they can apply this in the future.”

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