AirBNB Guest from Hell Refuses to Leave

In a bizarre case that has left homeowners and legal experts astounded, an Airbnb guest has been squatting at a luxurious guest house in Los Angeles for over 500 days and is demanding a hefty sum of $100,000 from the homeowner to vacate the property. This unprecedented situation has sparked a legal battle and brought attention to the challenges faced by homeowners in dealing with difficult guests.

The Tenant from Hell

The tenant in question, Elizabeth Hirschhorn, initially rented the guest house from homeowner Sascha Jovanovic in September 2021 for a six-month stay. The agreed rate was $105 per night, amounting to a total of $20,793. However, when Hirschhorn’s Airbnb stay came to an end in April 2022, she refused to vacate the property and has been living there rent-free ever since.

The Legal Battle Begins

Jovanovic, the homeowner, sought to evict Hirschhorn from the property, but encountered a major obstacle: the city’s recently adopted Just Cause Ordinance. Under this ordinance, Jovanovic had no legal grounds to evict Hirschhorn and was required to pay her a relocation fee if he wanted her to leave. Frustrated by the situation, Jovanovic’s lawyer filed a motion to challenge the ruling, arguing that Hirschhorn was taking advantage of a legal loophole.

The $100,000 Demand

In an attempt to resolve the situation, Jovanovic’s attorney proposed paying Hirschhorn a relocation fee to incentivize her to leave. However, Hirschhorn’s attorney countered with an astonishing demand: $100,000. Hirschhorn’s lawyer argued that this exorbitant sum was the most cost-effective solution for Jovanovic to put an end to the ordeal. The attorney claimed that until a judgment was obtained, the property legally belonged to the tenant, regardless of the homeowner’s discomfort.

Unapproved Occupancy and Building Code Violations

Adding to the complexity of the situation, Hirschhorn’s attorney raised another issue. They argued that the guest house was never approved for occupancy by the city, and furthermore, its shower had been constructed without a permit. According to Hirschhorn’s attorney, Jovanovic had violated building codes and had attempted to profit from an illegal unit. These allegations further complicated the legal battle between the homeowner and the tenant.

The Tenant from Hell Strikes Back

Jovanovic’s attorney vehemently denied the accusations made by Hirschhorn’s legal team. They stated that Hirschhorn was using these claims as a diversion tactic to justify her refusal to vacate the property. The attorney argued that if Hirschhorn’s argument held true, anyone could rent an Airbnb property for a short period and then refuse to leave, demanding payment for relocation.

A Cordial Beginning Turns Sour

Initially, Jovanovic and Hirschhorn had a cordial relationship during the early months of her stay. They exchanged pleasantries and engaged in small talk on the deck that separated the main house from the guest house. However, tensions arose when Hirschhorn complained about an issue with electronic blinds in the unit. When Jovanovic entered the guest house to repair the blinds, he noticed water damage and signs of mold around the sink, which he claimed were not present before Hirschhorn moved in.

Repairs and Temporary Accommodations

In an attempt to address the maintenance issues, Jovanovic offered to pay for Hirschhorn to stay at a hotel for a few days while the repairs were being carried out. He suggested either the Santa Monica Hilton or the Sure Stay Best Western in Santa Monica. Additionally, he offered her $1,500 to cover any other hotel expenses. However, Hirschhorn declined the offer, expressing concerns about her safety due to her housing disability and the potential risks associated with COVID-19.

Code Violations and Eviction Notices

As the conflicts escalated, Jovanovic sought to regain control of his property. He contacted the city’s housing department and initiated eviction proceedings against Hirschhorn. In response, Hirschhorn filed a complaint with the Department of Building Safety, alleging illegal eviction, harassment, and a refusal to pay her relocation fees. As a result, the housing investigator determined that Jovanovic had to withdraw the eviction notices until he could prove that the guest house was in compliance with city codes.

Legal Battles and Countersuits

Unwilling to give up, Jovanovic pursued legal action against Hirschhorn on multiple fronts. He filed a damages complaint to recover the $58,000 in unpaid rent and appealed the judge’s decision to dismiss the eviction case. Hirschhorn retaliated by filing her own countersuit, accusing Jovanovic of multiple violations, including negligence, nuisance, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unlawful business practices, and non-compliance with LA County COVID procedures.

The Ongoing Standoff

As the legal battles continue, Hirschhorn remains living on Jovanovic’s property, refusing to vacate. The situation has become a source of immense stress and anxiety for the homeowner and his family. Jovanovic fears for his daughter’s safety, as Hirschhorn’s unit is only a few feet away from her bedroom. Both parties await a final resolution to this extraordinary case.


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