‘Tenant From Hell’ Wouldn't Leave Unless Owner Paid $100,000 After Squatting For 500 Days
In a bizarre and protracted Airbnb rental scenario, an individual referred to as the "tenant from hell" refused to vacate a Brentwood property in California, as the ‘tenant from hell’ wouldn't leave unless owner paid $100,000 after squatting for 500 days. Their refusal to leave was conditional upon the property owner paying a staggering $100,000, plunging both parties into a legal and logistical quagmire.
The incident began when the Airbnb guest, identified as Elizabeth Hirschhorn, initially booked the luxurious property for a short-term stay. However, over time, she extended her stay indefinitely, creating a host of challenges for the property owner. As days turned into months and months into well over a year, the owners found themselves in an unprecedented situation.
The property owner was left with no option but to involve law enforcement. The police had to step in to address the situation and ensure a lawful resolution. The case garnered significant media attention due to its extraordinary nature, highlighting the unique legal challenges posed by long-term Airbnb guests who overstay their welcome.
A ‘tenant from hell’ wouldn't leave unless the owner paid $100,000 after squatting for 500 days. The Airbnb guest then kicked out who had been living there for 575 days.
Sascha Jovanovic owns a mansion in Brentwood where Elizabeth Hirschhorn took up residence. She refused to vacate or pay the rent during her stay.
According to court filings, Elizabeth Hirschhorn hired a long-term stay at Sascha Jovanovic's Brentwood guest house in September 2021 for six months at a rate of $105 per night, with additional expenses totaling $20,793. However, Hirschhorn's Airbnb stay ended in April 2022, and she has been residing there without paying rent ever since.
According to a judge, Jovanovic cannot legally evict her under Los Angeles' recently passed Just Cause Ordinance and must instead give her a relocation fee. This is because of the city's rent stabilization ordinance. The property was adjacent to a $3.5 million estate in Brentwood, Los Angeles, and the Harvard graduate had reserved a six-month stay.
The guest complained that the independent unit's electronic blinds were broken five months into their stay. When the owner inspected, he discovered mold around the sink and water damage inside that, according to him, had not been noticed before the guest's stay and had gone unreported.
And so he requested that either he book the guest into a Hilton hotel while he had repairs done, or he give her $1,500 to find her own place to stay. She declined, saying she had "chemical sensitivities" and was afraid about COVID-19.
She refused to move when the allotted time ran out, citing COVID-19 and what she claimed to be an illegally constructed shower. Furthermore, in order to pay for her "relocation costs," she even filed a $100,000 countersuit against Jovanovic.
However, after being spotted being led from the California residence by authorities, the woman known as the Airbnb "tenant from hell" has finally had her stay terminated.
With the help of three of her male companions, she also dragged several boxes outside to a white van that was waiting. Now that Hirschhorn has finally left, Jovanovic has spoken with the Daily Mail.
I'm very relieved and also a bit overwhelmed. It was a long time coming but now she is finally out! This weekend is going to be very positive.- Sascha Jovanovic
Even though Jovanovic previously took steps to ensure that Hirschhorn couldn't return, this situation could not be ending anytime soon. Sebastian Rucci, his attorney, clarified that he had communicated with Hirschhorn's legal team during the weekend.
Now that Hirschhorn had left the property, Rucci proposed that they postpone the impending hearing over the eviction. In response, Hirschhorn's lawyer stated that she was only thinking of her move as "temporary."
Following Rucci's notification that they had altered the house's locks, Amanda Seward, Hirschhorn's attorney, asserted that they had "jumped the gun" and proceeded to charge Jovanovic with harassment.
The Los Angeles Times was ableto get an email from Amanda Seward, Hirschhorn's attorney, to Jovanovic's counsel in which she stated that “$100,000 is [Jovanovic’s] cheapest way of getting of the whole ordeal.”
Hirschhorn's attorneys further contend that since the guest house was never given occupancy approval by the city and its shower was built without a permit, she shouldn't be required to pay rent and should instead be reimbursed for the $20,793.
According to an email that Seward sent to Rucci and which the Mail obtained:
Rucci said to the Mail, "We changed the locks when Hirschhorn left. Her lawyer responded that we jumped the gun as she intended to return after leaving. I responded that she was not allowed back, and the burden is now on her to go to court to regain possession."
"This lady has no shame,"he continued.
The situation also sheds light on Airbnb's role and responsibilities in such cases. The platform's policies typically dictate that guests and hosts agree to specific terms and conditions, including rental duration. However, in situations where guests overstay their reservations, Airbnb's policies can be tested, and property owners may face prolonged challenges to remove guests.
The peculiar nature of this case captured the public's attention and drew significant media coverage. It raised questions about the legal intricacies of long-term Airbnb stays and the rights and obligations of both hosts and guests.
While the specific outcome of this situation is not detailed in the sources you provided, it underscores the importance of clear and robust legal agreements in short-term rental arrangements. It also highlights the need for both guests and property owners to understand their respective rights and responsibilities, especially in cases where stays extend far beyond the originally agreed-upon duration.
Hosting on Airbnb can be a rewarding experience, offering the opportunity to meet people from all around the world while earning extra income. However, one challenge that hosts occasionally face is guests who overstay their reservations, turning a short-term rental into a prolonged stay.
While many guests are respectful and adhere to the booking terms, it's essential for hosts to have strategies in place to prevent and manage prolonged stays. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various techniques and best practices for hosts to ensure that guests' stays align with their original reservations.
One of the first steps to preventing prolonged stays is to establish clear booking rules from the beginning. When creating your Airbnb listing, be specific about the minimum and maximum length of stays you are comfortable with. You can set minimum night requirements to discourage short stays or maximum night limits to prevent long-term bookings. These rules serve as an initial deterrent for guests seeking extended stays that don't align with your hosting preferences.
Effective communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings. Make sure your listing description clearly outlines your booking rules and expectations. When guests inquire or book, reiterate these rules to ensure they understand the terms of their reservation. Be polite but firm about your hosting guidelines.
As a host, you should actively monitor your reservations to identify any unusual patterns or prolonged stays. Regularly check the booking calendar and guest profiles to see if any guests have extended their reservations beyond what was initially agreed upon. This proactive approach allows you to catch potential issues early on.
Airbnb provides hosts with the option to send a booking confirmation message after a guest books. In this message, you can reiterate your booking rules and expectations, ensuring that guests are aware of the terms of their stay. This step helps set the tone for their visit and reduces the likelihood of extended stays.
By setting a strict cancellation policy on your listing, guests will be less likely to extend their stay or make last-minute changes. Strict policies often require guests to pay a significant portion of their booking fee if they cancel within a certain period. This financial commitment can act as a deterrent against extending their stay unnecessarily.
You can also implement additional fees for guests who overstay their reservations. For example, you could charge a higher nightly rate for any nights beyond the initial reservation or add a cleaning fee for prolonged stays. This financial disincentive can discourage guests from extending their visit without prior agreement.
Establishing a positive rapport with your guests can go a long way in preventing prolonged stays. Engage with your guests, offer them a warm welcome, and provide an excellent hosting experience. When guests feel respected and valued, they are more likely to respect your hosting rules and not overstay.
In your Airbnb listing's house rules, make sure to include a clause about the maximum length of stays allowed. This serves as a clear and written reminder to guests regarding your hosting policies. By accepting your reservation, guests also accept these house rules.
Take the time to review guest profiles before accepting reservations. Look for any red flags, such as previous reviews mentioning extended stays or any indications that a guest might not adhere to your booking rules.
If a guest inquires about extending their stay, respond promptly. Delaying your response may lead to misunderstandings or guests assuming they can prolong their stay without prior approval. By addressing extension requests promptly, you maintain control over the situation.
It's essential to apply your booking rules consistently to all guests. Enforcing rules unevenly can lead to confusion and frustration. By treating all guests equally, you establish a fair and transparent hosting environment.
In cases where guests have already overstayed their reservation, approach the issue diplomatically. Contact the guest, remind them of the agreed-upon terms, and discuss the possibility of extending their stay if it aligns with your availability. Be understanding but firm in your communication.
If a guest refuses to leave or continues to overstay without prior agreement, you can use Airbnb's Resolution Center to report the issue. Airbnb can mediate and assist in resolving disputes, including addressing prolonged stays.
If you encounter particularly challenging situations involving prolonged stays, don't hesitate to reach out to Airbnb's support team. They can provide guidance and support to help you manage the situation effectively.
The individual extended an Airbnb stay in Brentwood, California, to 500 days, demanding $100,000 to vacate, leading to a legal dispute.
The guest overstayed their Airbnb booking, demanding a significant sum as a condition to vacate, creating a legal standoff.
Law enforcement became involved in the prolonged Airbnb stay dispute, working toward a resolution between the guest and the property owner.
The incident highlights the importance of well-defined agreements and the need for both guests and hosts to understand their rights and obligations.
Hosts should establish clear rental terms, monitor stay durations, and address any deviations promptly to prevent extended stays and disputes.
‘Tenant from hell’ wouldn't leave unless the owner paid $100,000 after squatting for 500 days. The 500-day Airbnb squatter incident represents an unusual and challenging situation that tested the boundaries of Airbnb's policies and the legal implications of long-term stays.
It serves as a cautionary tale for both hosts and guests, emphasizing the significance of well-defined terms and conditions, as well as the importance of understanding the legal framework governing short-term rentals. Such cases underscore the need for clarity in contractual agreements and a proactive approach to dispute resolution within the sharing economy.