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We are requesting legal help and advice to resolve an apparent “Renter, Squatter, and maybe eviction” situation. We hope to establish a formal enforceable rental agreement OR evict the Squatters. I do not know how to approach this, and I do not know what the Montana law requires.Here is the circumstance:
The land is recorded in Fergus County at (B193 – P616).
Township 16 North, Range 17 East, M.P.M., Fergus County, Montana Section 36: NW ¼There are 2 residences, and 2 addresses on the property. 411 Juniper Lane, and 318 Juniper Lane. The one that is in this dispute is 318 Juniper Lane. It is occupied by Marty Linhart and Mike Vanek. I am not certain of the length on time, but it is in the vicinity of 20 years.As you would see on the deed for the property, it is owned by Lisa Jean Linhart 25% (Marty Linharts mother), James R. Krause, 25% (Butch), Marjorie M. Krause 0% (Marjorie deeded her 25% interest to the Gary & Linda Walter Living Trust 2 months ago, in December 2021), and The Gary and Linda Walter Living Trust dated October 31, 2012, 25% plus the 25% recently quit claimed by Marjorie Krause.The recent change in the ownership mix has brought a lot of information into the light.
Current ownership is Lisa Jean Linhart, 25%; James R. Krause, 25%, and The Gary and Linda Walter Living Trust, 50%.Lisa Jean (Penny) and Doug Linhart elected to manage the ranch business in the year 2000. We all agreed to let them do it because they lived in Utica and were closer to the ranch. That decision has become very regrettable, because they have not been willing to share information of any kind regarding the Rentals, Leases, Grazing, Cattle, Crops, etc.Therefore, 75% of the ownership has been constantly in the dark. There is no annual information regarding income and expenses. We have learned that both houses have been continuously occupied since 2000, and we have no ieda what the bank balance looks like.411 Juniper lane has a renter that pays rent and is not a problem.However, 311 Juniper Lane has been and is occupied by Penny and Doug’s daughter Marty Linhart and Mike Vanek for over 20 years. We now know that they have never paid rent. Additionally, they use the barnyard and pastures, also rent free.
• Penny has been in a Billings assisted living unit, for 4 years. It is not likely she will ever go home to Utica.
• Doug had a stroke a few years ago, and he cannot see well, and has very limited driving.
• Gary and Linda now have a 50% interest in the ranch. We believe that our majority interest gives the right to make decisions without a consensus. Is that true or correct???With all these existing circumstances, Gary and Linda desire to take over the management of the ranch. We suspect that there will be argument from Penny and Doug, (We have full agreement from Butch), so we have been avoiding moving forward until we understand the legal parts of this situation.
What we can do?
What should we do?
How should we do it?
What consequences we might have?
What should we expect?
How and when should eviction be done if necessary?It is not like there is a lot to do to manage the Ranch, but it has not been taken care of. Now it is in a serious state of disrepair, and it needs to be cleaned up and taken care of.We want Mike and Marty to start paying rent. They do not maintain or take care of anything, and Doug is not able to participate in enforcement or maintenance. It really is disgusting that they would diminish the property as they have, especially after they have enjoyed it rent free for so long.I understand that this may be a lot to digest. Please let me know how we can approach this, and what you can do to help from the legal perspective.I would appreciate an estimated cost for your services to assist us with the legal matters connected with getting Mike and Marty to pay rent or face eviction.Thank You,Respectfully,Gary WalterGary Walter
3236 Cherry Plum Way,
Castle Rock, Colorado 80104
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: None yet, ,We know it is sensitive, and potentially explosive, so we want to understand this from a legal perspective first.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: NO, Having trouble finding an attorney who does this kind of work
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: NO
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