Elizabeth Hirschhorn has moved out of the Airbnb property in LA’s posh Brentwood neighborhood that she had been squatting in for 570 nights. At this point it is not clear why, but the homeowner has already changed locks and is celebrating.
Airbnb Squatter Moved Out Of Home, But May Not Be Gone Yet…
I’ve outlined all the details about Hirschhorn her history of fraud, and her crusade to remain rent-free in an Airbnb property here.
A skilled fraudster, Hirschhorn tricked the homeowner into extending her Airbnb stay in a manner in which she and her attorney later claimed triggered LA’s rent control ordinance, which importantly established tenancy rights for her and made it impossible to evict her. She then withheld payment over a problem she purportedly created to live rent free for 570 days.
But after the Los Angeles Times did a story on this issue, the issue went viral. Paparazzi camped out in front of the property and followed Hirschhorn wherever she went. Drones relentlessly hovered overhead. She was constantly confronted by a microphone and asked to defend her action, which she was unable to do.
Last Friday, though, a moving van unexpectedly showed up. Sascha Jovanovic, the homeowner, did not know what to think. Was she moving out or was it a home invasion robbery? He called the cops, who came to the scene and supervised the move out (as an aside, nice to have such police services in rich neighborhoods of LA…maybe they should focus on the Hotel Figueroa).
Within an hour after the movers let, a locksmith was on-site to change the locks.
Jovanovic told the Los Angeles Times:
“I’m a little overwhelmed, but I finally have my home back. I had such a peaceful weekend once she left.”
Not so fast.
Drama May Not Be Over Yet…
Jovanovic’s lawyer emailed Hirschhorn’s lawyer and received the response below, suggesting that the battle may not be over yet:
“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. 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. Further, you have violated the law by entering without permission and changing the locks.”
Any legal experts want to weigh in on what the strategy is now? Monetary damages for the changing the locks? A way to get out of the parallel unpaid rent lawsuit?
Jovanovic’s lawyer will continue to seek the $58,000 in unpaid rent in a separate legal action.
What Can We Learn From This
Honestly, stories like this will make me think twice before ever renting out my guest house. I am an attorney and I hope that I will be smart about if I ever do go down that path, but it just seems to me that it is not worth the stress.
Hirschhorn reasoned she did not have pay rent since Jovanovic never obtained an occupancy license for the guesthouse. That’s such contorted logic. If there was no occupancy license for the guesthouse, then no one should have been allowed to occupy it…
A serial troublemaker named Elizabeth Hirschhorn has moved out of the Brentwood house she had squatted in for 570 days. Perhaps it was the media attention that pushed her out and Jovanovic can thank the UK Daily Mail for its role in helping him get his house back.
Jovanovic will now turn the space into a recreation room…and never rent it out again.