A renter at a luxury Airbnb in California has stayed there without paying for more than a year and is demanding $100K in relocation fees, according to the rental property’s owner.
Sascha Jovanovic told KTLA-TV that the renter had initially paid for a six-month stay at the luxury studio in Brentwood for about $105 per night. But after that period ended in April 2022, the renter simply refused to move.
“This is like a nightmare, to be honest,” Jovanovic said. “This is extortion. This is like manipulation. Nobody should go through this.”
The attorney for Elizabeth Hirschhorn, the renter, told the Los Angeles Times that “she was not required to pay rent because the city had never approved the unit for occupancy” and added that “its shower was constructed without a permit.”
Jovanovic is now asking for $60,000 for what she owes in rent. He says that he fears for his safety.
“She is a smart person who knows how to manipulate the system and it is dangerous that people like this are allowed to do this,” Jovanovic added. “She is obviously trying to extort a community member and she has done this before.”
He says that he refuses to settle with Hirschhorn because people like her “have to be stopped.”
KTLA’s legal analyst, Alison Triessl, said Jovanovic made a mistake by renting the unit without a certificate of occupancy.
“If the landlord does not have a certificate of occupancy, any contract they had is void, so legally, she actually owes nothing,” she said. “But that does not leave him without remedy.”
Airbnb has also washed its hands of the case because Jovanovich admits that he allowed Hirschhorn to stay after the period of time agreed upon on the platform.
Jovanovich’s attorney, Sebastian Rucci, has called Hirschhorn the “tenant from hell” in an interview with the Times.
“If she’s right, the theory is that if a landlord has something that isn’t permitted, then you can stay in it rent-free forever,” he explained.
The average single-family home in Brentwood, California, currently sells for about $2.15 million according to Redfin.
Here’s more about the rental nightmare:
Airbnb renter stays at Brentwood home for more than a year without payingwww.youtube.com
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