Squatter vacates Brentwood Airbnb after 570 rent-free days

Elizabeth Hirschhorn exits, but her lawyer warns landlord not “to assume abandonment”

Squatter Vacates Brentwood Airbnb After 570 Rent-Free Days
Dr. Sascha Jovanovic and 1235 North Tigertail Road (Google Maps, gIDE)

After 570 rent-free days, the Los Angeles “tenant from hell” is gone.

Elizabeth Hirschhorn, who made headlines for refusing to pay rent after her Airbnb stay ended at a Brentwood guesthouse at 1235 North Tigertail Road, has moved out, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Her landlord, Dr. Sascha Jovanovic, has filed a lawsuit for $58,000 in unpaid rent. Hirschorn had sued saying she had a right to stay and didn’t owe Jovanovic because he never had a license to rent the unit. A judge ruled that, under L.A.’s rent control law, he couldn’t evict her. 

Her lawsuit accused him of harassment and intimidation, which the dental implant surgeon has denied.

“I’m a little overwhelmed, but I finally have my home back,” Jovanovic told the Times. “I had such a peaceful weekend once she left.”

Jovanovic, a Dutch native with a practice in Santa Monica, rented out his accessory dwelling unit via the home-sharing platform to Hirschhorn in September 2021. Her Airbnb stay ended in April last year, and she hasn’t paid rent since.

She had refused to move out unless Jovanovic paid her a relocation fee of $100,000, according to a settlement offer.

Hirschhorn’s attorney said she wasn’t required to pay rent because the city had never approved the unit for occupancy and that its shower was built without a permit. Hirschhorn later refused to allow her landlord inside the unit to obtain the permit or make repairs.

Jovanovic, who lives at the sustainable dream house he built next door, was at home Friday being interviewed for a documentary detailing the battle between him and Hirschhorn when he saw three men walk into the guesthouse, according to the Times.

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They turned out to be movers.

He asked why they were there, according to Jovanovic. They wouldn’t say. He suspected she could be moving out. But he feared it could also be a home invasion, so he called the police.

The cops came. And once all of Hirschhorn’s things were packed, they escorted her off the property, Jovanovic said.

Jovanovic and his attorney, Sebastian Rucci, knocked on the door to confirm she was gone. They entered the guesthouse and found it empty. Within an hour, a locksmith rolled up and changed the locks.

Rucci emailed Hirschhorn’s attorney, Amanda Seward, seeking to dismiss the unlawful detainer lawsuit. Seward replied that they “may have jumped the gun.” 

“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,” Seward said in the email.

“Further, you have violated the law by entering without permission and changing the locks.”

Hirschhorn had been a squatter-in-residence for a year in the Bay Area prior to her rent-free stint in L.A. Two months before she rented the Brentwood digs owned by Jovanovic, she was booted for not paying rent to a landlord in Oakland.

The 55-year-old Harvard graduate and script writer has also been involved in several lawsuits.

The Massachusetts native was sued by American Express in February 2021 over an unpaid credit card debt of $19,618, which she was ultimately forced to repay, according to the Daily Mail, which spotted her with a mystery man in Santa Monica.

In June 2019, Hirschhorn also filed a lawsuit against married couple Jacqueline McMahon and Timothy Hayes over a car accident that had occurred two years earlier, seeking damages of more than $25,000. 

— Dana Bartholomew

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