The owner of an Airbnb short-term rental property is embroiled in a never-ending legal battle, trying to evict a tenant who has lived at least 541 days without paying rent.
In fact, the court maintains that has no legal right to evict that person.
It all started in September 2021, when Saša Jovanović started renting out his apartment without having documents proving that it is his(and here comes the first asterisk for illegal rental), approving the long-term residency of Elizabeth Hirschhorn, a dentist from Los Angeles.
Initially, Jovanovic rented the apartment in Hirschhorn, for six months with $105 a nightthus yielding a total nearly $20,000according to a complaint filed in a Los Angeles court in June.
Five months later, however, Jovanovich offered to put Hirschhorn up in a hotel as a contractor did some repairs to the apartment, according to the complaint. She refused both this scenario and his proposal to stay at his house, and so their deal ended as scheduledsix months later, on March 19, 2022.
However agreed to extend her stay until April 12, 2022, while she herself would be looking for another property, as court documents show. However, this extension would not involve Airbnb. That’s when Hirschhorn stopped paying the rent.
A few days earlier, had spoken with the Los Angeles Department of Buildings and Safety, and was informed that violations had been detected, such as lack of approval for occupancy and unauthorized construction of showers.
He then filed a complaint alleging illegal eviction, harassment and failure to pay relocation fees, with authorities confirming that Jovanovic should withdraw the eviction notices.
The Hirschhorn he has been in his apartment for more than six monthsand according to a new ordinance its owner must provide supporting documents for eviction, if not, the owner must pay for relocation assistance.
Jovanovich and his attorney attempted to sue Hirschhorn, for damages to recover the unpaid rent, and for wrongful detainer for the eviction.
Hirschhorn’s legal team succeeded in having the latter dismissed by a judge, although Jovanovic’s legal team is appealing the decision.
“She’s the renter from hell. If he’s right, then the theory is that if a landlord has something that isn’t allowed inside their property, then you can stay in it rent-free forever. She claims she won’t leave without being paid to leave. We believe this has no basis.
We will not negotiate with Elizabeth Hirschhorn. We will not accept any settlement where we have to pay it. He owes over $60,000 in rent and the claim that she is owed money to leave is absurd,” the lawyer emphasizes.
Of course, he laughs best who laughs last and her lawyer has an answer for all of the above: “The landlord broke the law and tried to make money by illegally renting an apartment. After being caught, instead of doing the right thing, he resorted to intimidation, harassment and filing frivolous lawsuits containing elaborate false stories, all in an attempt to cover his tracks,” it concludes.
With information from Insiders