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'Cleanup complete:' New life for Billings nuisance property with storied past

For months occupants refused to leave this property on Wicks Lane, hauling in more junk to the yard and inside aggravating neighbors
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Posted at 5:57 PM, Apr 15, 2024

BILLINGS- A nuisance property in the Billings Heights is now completely cleaned up and ready for renovations and repairs, but it was a long haul to get there for the owners and neighbors living on Wicks Lane.

Tammie Hoelle, the Realtor for the property owners, an out-of-state investment firm, says the long-term plan for the home is to be renovated and placed on the market for a new family to enjoy.

But first, Hoelle had to find someone to clean up the property once the occupants, who were squatters including a child, finally moved out.

She enlisted Travis and Siri Wing, a father-daughter duo who were brave enough to remove the piles of junk and sanitize the place.

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Wing operates Against All Odds LLC, and says it took them 15 days to remove all the junk and haul it away.

He admits the job was not for the faint at heart.

“I have never done anything like this intense,” said Travis. “We spent two days on the front yard, and then when we started digging in, it took us a whole day to get into the kitchen.”

The duo took videos and pictures along the way to document the job and give MTN News a glimpse inside.

“Everything, clothes, electronics, the kitchen, there was like old, rotten food,” he said.

The property has a complicated past, with complaints over the last eight months from concerned neighbors like Paul Waller.

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For months the property sat cluttered with possessions, trash and junk. Waller spent months complaining to the city’s Code Enforcement division about it.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and you just got to squeak,” said Waller.

The property was in a complicated situation. Hoelle said it was already foreclosed on, then auctioned off, but her clients had to wait longer to obtain control of it, as the residents were still squatting in the house.

Waller says a child was also living in the house filled with filth.

“We left notices, and I left my card asking them to call me, but they never reached out,” she said. 

The process was slow, expensive, and painful, with the new owners backed up against Montana tenant laws that required them to hire an attorney.

“I think we acquired this in December and ended up getting procession on Feb. 20,” said Hoelle.

The trash was filled so high inside and outside, that Wing was jokingly second-guessing the task at one point.

“At first, I thought it wouldn’t be that difficult but then halfway through it, I was like – man, maybe I bit off more than I could chew here,” he said.

But the property is now transformed, and Hoelle says the house will be taken down to the studs, renovated and then placed on the market.

It's something she believes will make neighbors happy to see.

“I can see where they’re coming from. Your property values, your neighborhood. You take pride in your home,” she said.

“Its great. It’s great,” said Waller.

Related: Squatters removed from Billings Heights nuisance property
Related: Billings Heights homeowner remains frustrated about neighbor's nuisance property