Guest living rent-free at US mansion insists $100

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Oct 05, 2023
Picture of a residential building

An Airbnb guest who has been residing in a high-end mansion in Los Angeles for over a year is refusing to depart unless the property owner agrees to provide her with $100,000 as relocation payment, Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

Aleksandar Jovanovic, a periodontist, leased the mansion to the guest Elizabeth Hirschhorn in September 2021. Initially, she rented the property for six months at a nightly rate of $105 and with additional fees, the total amounted to $20,793, as indicated in court records. Nevertheless, her intended stay concluded in April 2022, and since then, she has been residing there without paying rent.

Jovanovic is facing difficulties in evicting the tenant due to the fact that he was not authorized to rent out the guest house in the first place. He rented the property without obtaining a certificate of occupancy or proper registration, and there's also an unauthorized shower installed in the unit.

"After he was caught, instead of doing the right thing, he has resorted to bullying, harassment and the filing of frivolous lawsuits containing elaborate false stories, all in an attempt to cover his tracks," Hirschhorn's attorney told LA Times.

According to the legal case, the conflict between the two parties arose approximately five months into the rental agreement when Hirschhorn reported that her electronic blinds had malfunctioned. Jovanovic, who entered the property to address this issue, discovered water damage and evidence of mold around the sink, which he claims was not present prior to her stay.

In an attempt to resolve the situation, Jovanovic offered to cover the cost of a five-day hotel stay for Hirschhorn, but she declined the offer. He also suggested that she could stay at his own residence, but she refused, citing severe allergies related to cat dander as the reason for declining his offer.

The tension between Mr. Jovanovic and Hirschhorn persisted until the conclusion of her rental agreement in March 2022. Realizing that she had no intention of vacating the property, Mr. Jovanovic extended her stay until April 12, 2022, to provide her with additional time to secure alternative accommodation, the LA Times reports.

Subsequently, Jovanovic contacted the city's Department of Building Safety when Hirschhorn continued to resist leaving the property. In response, she filed a complaint with a housing investigator, accusing Jovanovic of illegal eviction, harassment, and a failure to provide her with the agreed-upon relocation fees.

Source: Hindustan Times
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