A US woman who was accused of squatting for over a year in a Los Angeles guesthouse that she booked on Airbnb is finally out. According to People, 55-year-old Elizabeth Hirschhorn left the guest house on Friday with a police escort after 575 days of rent-free living at the $3.5 million property. She had been living in the house since September 2021. She had initially booked a six-month stay in the property’s luxury guesthouse but squatted after the term ended.
“It was quite a crazy moment because we were in the house, filming with a news channel,” landlord Sascha Jovanovic told NewsNation. “And then these three men started walking [to the guest house], and I had no idea who was walking into it. I approached them, they didn’t want to speak to me. … Then I called the police as a home invasion, three men entering our property,” he added. Notably, those three men turned out to be the movers, according to the outlet.
Mr Jovanovic had met Ms Hirschhorn when she rented his guesthouse through Airbnb for six months at $105 per night. However, she later refused to leave and even demanded $100,000 to cover relocation costs. Mr Jovanovic claimed that Ms Hirschhorn also wouldn’t let him in the unit to bring everything up to code.
Notably, Mr Jovanovic’s guest house was never properly licensed as a rental on Airbnb and since Ms Hirschhorn stayed there for at least six months, he could not evict her under Los Angeles’ “Just Cause” ordinance. According to the Los Angeles Housing Department, the ordinance “prohibits terminations of tenancies without just cause and requires relocation assistance for no-fault evictions”.
Both parties had filed lawsuits against each other, however, Mr Jovanovic’s lawyer filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of prejudice in Los Angeles County Superior Court regarding the eviction case. The Judge then granted the request to dismiss the eviction case, but the lawsuit regarding the damages against Ms Hirschhorn is still ongoing.
“I’m very relieved and also a bit overwhelmed,” the landlord told the People. “It was a long time coming but now she is finally out! This weekend is going to be very positive,” he added.
For now, it is unclear if Ms Hirschhorn has moved out permanently or plans to return. However, the outlet reported that the landlord has since changed the locks on the property.