‘Tenant from hell’ who also lived rent-free in Oakland moves out of LA Airbnb

Elizabeth Hirschhorn, the woman who had squatted rent-free at a Los Angeles Airbnb for 570 days, moved off the property on Friday.

Hirschhorn, 55, began renting the guesthouse in September 2021 from a periodontist in Los Angeles’ Brentwood, the LA Times reported. Following her 6-month stay, she refused to leave, arguing that she wasn’t obligated to pay rent because the landlord, Sascha Jovanovic, hadn’t obtained an occupancy license for the unit. Labeled as the “tenant from hell” by Jovanovic’s lawyer, Hirschhorn had demanded $100,000 in relocation costs to move.

“I’m very relieved and also a bit overwhelmed,” Jovanovic told the Daily Mail.

Before moving into Jovanovic’s Airbnb, Hirschhorn was also caught up in a similar dispute with an Oakland landlord. In fall 2019, she sublet a room in a Rockridge home, then allegedly refused to leave or pay rent, citing COVID regulations and health concerns. Though the landlords filed to evict her in August 2020, she remained in the two-bedroom cottage for over a year, the Mercury News previously reported, and came to a settlement with the landlords in July 2021.

On Friday, Jovanovic was at his home when he saw three men, who turned out to be movers, walk into the guesthouse, the LA Times reported. Fearing that they might be breaking into his house, Jovanovic called the police.

“Officers showed up for a landlord tenant dispute and determined it was a civil matter only,” an LAPD spokesperson told the Bay Area News Group. “No criminal enforcement actions were taken.”

Even though Jovanovic may have won in getting Hirschhorn off his property, the legal battle may not be over. After Hirschhorn left, Jovanovic told the Times that he changed the locks on the door to the guesthouse, a move that Hirschhorn’s attorney, Amanda Seward, claims “violated the law.”

“Ms. Hirschhorn had discussed with me concern over the constant harassment and surveillance, and also the desire to get the things repaired that needed to be repaired,” wrote Seward, in an email to Jovanovic’s lawyer that was reviewed by the Times. “Subject to my discussions with Ms. Hirschhorn, please be advised that you have no authority to change the locks or to assume abandonment of the unit.”

On Monday, Seward also told the Daily Mail that Hirschhorn had not voluntarily abandoned the guesthouse, but “had to find another place because [Jovanovic] locked her out.”

Seward also says Jovanovic mischaracterized the move in other ways. Jovanovic had told the LA Times that police had escorted Hirschhorn off the property, a claim Seward denies.

“The police did not escort her out. They were there on a different matter,” Seward told the Daily Mail. “If Jovanovic said the police escorted her off the property, that is a defamation claim.”

Jovanovic is still seeking damages from Hirschhorn of about $58,000 in unpaid rent. For now, though, he says that he plans to clear out some of the mold in the unit that had become a sore point when Hirschhorn was renting from him, and to then turn the space into a recreation room for his children.

“It was a long time coming but now she is finally out,” he told the Daily Mail.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/11/07/tenant-from-hell-who-also-lived-rent-free-in-oakland-moves-out-of-la-airbnb/ ‘Tenant from hell’ who also lived rent-free in Oakland moves out of LA Airbnb

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