A dispute between an Airbnb host and a guest-turned-squatter has dragged on for over a year in Los Angeles. The tenant has overstayed her lease by nearly 12 months and is now demanding a hefty relocation fee before moving out.
Guest Initially Rents High-End Guest House
In September 2021, dentist Aleksandar Jovanovic rented out the guest house on his Brentwood property to Elizabeth Hirschhorn through Airbnb. Hirschhorn agreed to a six-month stay from September 2021 to March 2022, paying nearly $20,000 in rent.
The studio guest house features panoramic views of L.A. However, it was rented out illegally, without proper permits or certificates of occupancy.
Refuses to Leave, Dispute Emerges Over Repairs
When March 2022 came, Hirschhorn refused to vacate the property. This prompted a legal dispute between landlord and tenant. Jovanovic claims he discovered mold and water damage when trying to make repairs. He offered Hirschhorn hotel accommodations during repairs, but she declined over COVID-19 and disability concerns.
Judge Rules Squatter Can Stay Indefinitely
Despite Jovanovic’s efforts to evict Hirschhorn, a judge recently ruled she can continue living in the guest house rent-free. The illegal rental status means eviction protections apply. Hirschhorn has countersued, alleging harassment by the landlord.
Host Fears For Safety With “Hostile” Squatter Nextdoor
With Hirschhorn dug in indefinitely feet away from his front door, Jovanovic says he feels unsafe in his own home. However, removing the unwanted tenant has proven extremely difficult so far.
Squatter Demands Relocation Fee Over $100,000
According to reports, Hirschhorn has demanded over $100,000 to finally move out of the property. Her lawyer argues this is the cheapest way for Jovanovic to resolve the situation. However, the landlord insists Hirschhorn is taking advantage of the situation.
Landlord Vows to Regain Control of Property
Jovanovic remains determined to eventually regain control over his guest house through the courts. But for now, his hands remain tied while Hirschhorn enjoys an indefinite free stay in the luxurious converted studio.
This high-profile landlord-tenant dispute highlights the immense protections often granted to tenants, even in cases of clear overstaying. For one L.A. homeowner, his illegal rental decision has resulted in an unwanted roommate with no end in sight.