BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) – It’s sometimes said that uninvited guests are most welcome when they leave, but one California resident wouldn’t know from personal experience.
Sascha Jovanovic said a one-time Airbnb tenant has remained on his Brentwood property for over a year, refusing to either leave or pay. He told the Los Angeles Times that Elizabeth Hirschhorn didn’t move out when her stay ended in April 2022.
Not only has she been living there rent-free, Jovanovic also claims Hirschhorn wants him to pay her a relocation fee of $100,000.
“This is like a nightmare, to be honest,” Jovanovic told News 2’s sister station, KTLA. “This is extortion. This is like manipulation. Nobody should go through this.”
Hirschhorn’s attorney told the Times that “she was not required to pay rent because the city had never approved the unit for occupancy and that its shower was constructed without a permit.”
Because of those code violations, the city determined that Jovanovic couldn’t evict Hirschhorn, whom he claims won’t let him into the unit to bring it up to code.
Jovanovic and his lawyer have disputed the occupancy permit allegations and are trying to evict the woman.
“She is a smart person who knows how to manipulate the system, and it is dangerous that people like this are allowed to do this,” Jovanovic said. “She is obviously trying to extort a community member and she has done this before.”
Jovanovic was referring to a Daily Mail article that claimed Hirschorn was kicked out of a $2.6 million Oakland rental home after refusing to leave. This allegedly happened just two months before she moved into Jovanovic’s Brentwood home.
Both Jovanovic and Hirschorn have since filed lawsuits against each other.
“I am not going to settle,” Jovanovic said. “This cannot be right and people like this have to be stopped.”
As the standoff between both parties continues and the case works its way through the courts, Jovanovic has some advice for Airbnb owners.
“If you go on Airbnb, do not rent out your place for more than 30 days,” he said. “That’s number one. Number two, do a background check.”
“This is an important warning to all homeowners out there,” Triessl added. “If you do not have a certificate of occupancy, you cannot rent out your place or you may very well be in the same situation this homeowner is currently in.”
KTLA has made numerous attempts to contact Hirschhorn and her attorney but has yet to receive a response.