Elizabeth Hirschhorn moves out of Brentwood Airbnb after 570 rent-free days. She said she had a right to stay
Elizabeth Hirschhorn, the Brentwood tenant who did not pay rent for her luxury Airbnb rental for 570 days, moved out of the unit on Friday.
The move was exactly one month after The Times chronicled Hirschhorn’s contentious tenancy, which began with a cordial stay on Airbnb and ended with her and Sascha Jovanovic, the landlord and property owner, suing each other.
“I’m a little overwhelmed, but I finally have my home back,” Jovanovic said. “I had such a peaceful weekend once she left.”
Last year, an Airbnb guest at a luxury studio in Brentwood refused to check out after her scheduled stay ended. She hasn’t paid rent in more than 500 days.
During her stay, which began in September 2021, Hirschhorn said that the lease was extended off Airbnb and that the unit was subject to the Rent Control Ordinance, so Jovanovic would have to evict her if he wanted her to leave. She also argued that she didn’t have to pay rent since Jovanovic never obtained an occupancy license for the guesthouse.
Jovanovic, who lives on the property, was at the home on Friday being interviewed for a documentary detailing the battle between him and Hirschhorn when he saw three men, who turned out to be movers, walk into the guesthouse.
He said he asked why they were there, and they didn’t clearly say why. He suspected she could be moving out but feared it also could be a home invasion, so he called the police.
The police arrived, and once all of Hirschhorn’s belongings 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 and then entered the guesthouse and found it empty. Within an hour, a locksmith arrived and changed the locks.
As of now, it’s unclear whether Hirschhorn moved out permanently, or if she’s planning to return to the property.
Jovanovic and Rucci said they hadn’t heard anything from either Hirschhorn or her legal team, so they assumed she had moved out for good. On Saturday, Rucci emailed Hirschhorn’s attorney, Amanda Seward, to figure out the next steps regarding Jovanovic’s eviction lawsuit against Hirschhorn.
“My review of the case law is that once a tenant abandons the unit, the unlawful detainer is dismissed. If you wish, I can file the dismissal, or we can file a joint dismissal,” Rucci wrote.
Seward replied that they “may have jumped the gun,” according to the email exchange reviewed by The Times.
“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 wrote. “Further, you have violated the law by entering without permission and changing the locks.”
Neither Hirschhorn nor Seward immediately responded to a request for comment.
Rucci said he’s planning to drop the unlawful detainer lawsuit, assuming Hirschhorn has moved out for good. But he’ll still pursue damages in a separate lawsuit, since he claims Hirschhorn owes roughly $58,000 in unpaid rent. Hirschhorn said she owes nothing since Jovanovic never had a license to rent the unit, and her lawsuit accuses him of multiple forms of harassment and intimidation in attempts to get her to leave the place, which Jovanovic has denied.
Hirchhorn’s tenancy became a viral story in the days and weeks after The Times chronicled the saga. News vans posted up outside the home, and paparazzi followed Hirschhorn whenever she left.
“Drones were flying above my house every day. It was crazy,” Jovanovic said.
Elizabeth Hirschhorn has lived in a Brentwood guesthouse for more than 540 days rent-free. Here’s how L.A. city regulations have allowed her to do so.
Now, he plans to address the mold damage in the unit, which was an issue during Hirschhorn’s stay that eventually soured their relationship. He also plans to get the necessary permits from the city, which was another issue; Jovanovic never obtained a license to rent the unit, and Hirschhorn argued in court that he wasn’t allowed to charge rent on a unit he didn’t have a license for.
After that, he plans to turn the space into a recreation room for his two adolescent children.
“We need to get the bad energy out and turn it back into a happy, family space,” he said.
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