The Barron County Sheriff's Department dispatch log is rife with calls of concerns from both landlords and tenants: A tenant calls a sheriff's dispatcher and reports that her landlord cut the lock on a storage shed, and all her belongings are gone. A landlord fears a renter's reaction when told that the residence is being sold. Another caller wants to talk to an officer about her landlord changing locks on the house before she could remove her property. While dispatchers and law enforcement officers are knowledgeable about landlord and tenant rules, a wealth of information can also be found on the Internet at two different sites specifically for those in that relationship. Because the laws can change every year, it's nice to find updated information on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection website at "datcp.wi.gov." Check out the "Landlord tenant guide-2014," "Tenants' Rights & Responsibilities," and the "Wisconsin Way, A Guide for Landlords and Tenants." The toll-free number is 800-422-7128. Another helpful site with easy to understand information about the laws that went into effect in March, and more, can be found at the Tenant Resource Center at "www.tenantresourcecenter.org." Or toll free at 1-877-238-7368. The relationship between a landlord and a tenant can become volatile when it comes to the loss of a home or detriment to personal property. Making use of the abundant information out there on the subject could go a long way in extinguishing flare-ups before they begin.
[The editorials that appear weekly in this space are the views of the newspaper as determined by The Chronotype's editorial board. All editorials are written by one or more members of the board, which consists of Warren Dorrance, Sam Finazzo, Ryan Urban and Eileen Nimm.]