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Owner of Airbnb with ‘tenant from hell’ who's been squatting for 500 days speaks out about ordeal

Owner of Airbnb with ‘tenant from hell’ who's been squatting for 500 days speaks out about ordeal

Sascha Jovanovic has said he feels like he can't live in his own home while the renter refuses to leave

The owner of the Airbnb where a tenant has been squatting for more than 500 days has spoken out about how she has 'locked [herself] up' in his home.

Sascha Jovanovic's struggles with tenant Elizabeth Hirschhorn began after her six-month tenancy came to an end more than a year ago.

Most renters would know that the end of a tenancy means it's time to either renew or find a new home, but Hirschhorn took a different approach by simply refusing to leave.

She has now been living at the $3.8 million home in Los Angeles for 18 months, with Janovich claiming she owes him $60,000 in unpaid rent.

Hirschhorn, however, is demanding $100,000 to leave the Brentwood Airbnb, and claims she's not required to pay rent because Janovich never got the correct permit which was needed for a shower inside his guesthouse.

The pair are now in the midst of a legal battle, with Hirschhorn having ignored three eviction notices and even refused Jovanovic's offer to put her up in a hotel.

Jovanovic rented out the guesthouse to Hirschhorn.

Speaking to about the ordeal, Jovanovic admitted he fears retaliation for his effort to remove Hirschhorn.

"I don't know what this is going to do to a person who is kind of locked up in my house and not wanting to come out, who has been extremely secretive for the last two years," he said.

"What is her move going to be? I moved the kids out already because I don't want the young kids to be potentially exposed to any kind of adversity like this."

An investigation into Hirschhorn revealed she has previously been linked to a similar situation with a rental in Oakland, California. The previous case came to an end with a cash settlement just weeks before Hirschhorn moved into Jovanovic's home.

In the wake of the revelation, Jovanovic and his lawyer Sebastian Rucci asked a judge to take a new look at the case, arguing that the previous example proved Hirschhorn is a 'serial squatter'.

However, Hirschhorn's attorney, Amanda Seward, responded with a written statement arguing Rucci's motion for a judge to take another look at the case 'goes against everything the American justice system stands for.'

Hirschhorn has ignored eviction notices filed against her.

Seward asked Judge George Bird to deny Rucci's motion, writing: "No one argues that (Jovanovic) cannot evict the defendant. It is just that he has not done it in the right way.

"(Jovanovic) rented an illegal unit and refused to follow the rules for Los Angeles."

Both the tenant and the renter are set to return to court in Santa Monica on Monday (23 October) for a fresh hearing in the case.

With Jovanovic's efforts so far having proved useless, the landlord said: "Right now I feel like that I'm not able to live in my house. I would like to but it doesn't feel like my home anymore.

"t's insane that she has been able to manipulate the system multiple times, and that intelligent people, like a judge in Santa Monica and her lawyers, are falling for this crap," he added.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/ @drsaschajovanovic / Google Maps

Topics: Money, US News