Police forced to intervene after airbnb guest stays for over 570 days
The accommodation, belonging to homeowner Sascha Jovanovic and listed on Airbnb, was initially a short-term rental, meant for a mere six months. Yet, what ensued was a 575-day occupancy without rent, sparking a legal dispute that would eventually involve the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Extended stay becomes a legal labyrinth
As Hirschhorn overstayed, Jovanovic's patience wore thin. The $3.5 million property, complete with a pool, tennis court, and gym, became the site of an unexpected legal battleground. Jovanovic, after nearly two years of hospitality being exploited, felt compelled to file an eviction lawsuit in September 2022.
The case took a dramatic turn on November 4, 2022. According to Jovanovic, LAPD officers were present as movers extracted Hirschhorn's possessions from the guesthouse.
This act marked the end of a protracted and rent-free stay that the landlord was eager to conclude, People reported.
Dispute over police escort details
The details of Hirschhorn's departure have become contentious. Jovanovic's account indicates law enforcement's direct involvement, asserting in a court filing that "Three men removed every item and Elizabeth Hirschhorn left with a police escort."
However, this narrative is starkly opposed by Hirschhorn's legal representation, which has firmly denied any police escort was involved, "It is patently false that the police escorted Hirschhorn off of the property," said Hirschhorn's lawyer, challenging Jovanovic's claim and painting a picture of a tenant forced to leave due to harassment rather than police intervention.
In a somewhat surprising move, Jovanovic withdrew the eviction lawsuit post-departure, although he remains steadfast in seeking damages. Meanwhile, Hirschhorn's counterclaims suggest a darker side to the eviction, including allegations of harassment and doxing.
A costly exit strategy
The tenant had previously put forth a hefty demand of a $100,000 relocation fee to vacate the premises. Jovanovic, upon Hirschhorn's exit, changed the locks, suggesting she had abandoned the property. Yet, Hirschhorn's lawyer contests the lock change as improper, adding another layer to the already complex legal skirmish.
The relief of the homeowner is palpable. Jovanovic expressed his sentiments to the Daily Mail: "I'm very relieved and also a bit overwhelmed...It was a long time coming but now she is finally out!" His use of the phrase "tenant from hell" underscores the ordeal he believes he endured.
"Hirschhorn continues to pursue her claims for damages and affirmative claims arising out of the harassment, property damage, doxing and other actions taken by Jovanovic," indicates a statement from Hirschhorn's lawyer, suggesting that while one legal chapter may have closed, another remains wide open.
Lessons to learn from this tragedy
The complexities of this case offer various lessons in the realm of rental agreements and property law. Below are some takeaways to help ensure safety and legal protection in similar situations:
- Always have a clear, written contract for any tenancy, no matter how short-term it may seem.
- If you're a landlord, understand the eviction process in your jurisdiction before you find yourself in a bind.
- As a tenant, know your rights and your responsibilities to avoid legal complications.
Why this story matters
This story holds significance for the community as it highlights the potential for abuse within the rental market. It serves as a reminder of the importance of due diligence for all parties involved in rental agreements.
Moreover, it underscores the need for clear and enforceable laws to address such disputes efficiently, ensuring that both landlords and tenants are protected.
- Elizabeth Hirschhorn lived rent-free for 575 days in a guesthouse owned by Sascha Jovanovic.
- Jovanovic claims Hirschhorn was escorted out by police, which her lawyer disputes.
- Both parties are pursuing damages post-eviction.
- Hirschhorn's departure followed a demand for a large relocation fee, and the subsequent lock change by Jovanovic is contested.