(NewsNation) — An Airbnb host in Los Angeles is struggling to get rid of a guest who has refused to pay for the rental for more than 500 days and claims she has a legal right to stay there.
Sascha Jovanovic initially rented the guesthouse to Elizabeth Hirschhorn for a six-month stay, for which she paid more than $20,000, but when the reservation ended in March 2022, she wouldn’t leave.
Jovanovic told the Los Angeles Times he offered to give her until early April to find a new place, but she continued to refuse to leave, and there are now dueling lawsuits over the guesthouse.
Jovanovic said when he entered the unit, he noticed mold and water damage that wasn’t there before Hirschhorn’s stay began. He said he offered to put her up in a hotel or stay in his home while he repaired the damage, but she refused.
Hirschhorn, meanwhile, said the unit wasn’t approved for occupancy and had an unpermitted shower. She contacted authorities and claimed she was not required to pay rent because of those issues and couldn’t be evicted.
Jovanovic says Hirschhorn refused to let him in to make the repairs needed to bring the unit into compliance.
Under Los Angeles’ Just Cause law, staying in the unit for six months means Hirschhorn can’t be evicted without legal cause unless Jovanovic pays for her relocation. Because Jovanovic extended her contract outside of the Airbnb platform, the company won’t intervene in the dispute.
Both parties have filed lawsuits against each other, with Hirschhorn asking for $100,000 to settle the case. In the meantime, Hirschhorn remains in the guest house, separated from Jovanovic and his family by a shared deck.