The homeowner of a posh guest house in Los Angeles claims that a “tenant from hell” who supposedly occupied there for almost two years without paying rent has finally left.
“I’m a little overwhelmed, but I finally have my home back,” owner Sascha Jovanovic told the Los Angeles Times this week. “I had such a peaceful weekend once she left.”
Elizabeth Hirschhorn, 55, was reportedly led by Los Angeles Police Department officers from a Brentwood residence on Friday after she had moved into the guest house of the expansive $3.5 million property in 2021, as stated by the homeowner. It is said that the tenant left the guest house filthy and full of flies, even though she has since moved out and taken her personal items with her.
“There was [a] smell, it was dirty,” Jovanovic, a dentist, told NewsNation this week. “And, yeah, it was kind of something that my first reaction was [that] everything has to go or be given to charity.”
But through her lawyer, the tenant has since retracted her claim that Jovanovic locked her out of the house and that she was not escorted by the police.
“That is not true, your honour. The police did not escort her from the building,” Hirschhorn’s attorney, Amanda Seward, told a California judge this week,” according to the Daily Mail. She alleged Jovanovic “locked her out” of the unit.
Sebastian Rucci, Jovanovic’s lawyer, gave Fox News Digital access to emails he sent to Seward, stating he was getting ready to file a motion to dismiss Hirschhorn’s case for violating an unlawful retainer since she was moving out.
According to the email, Jovanovic saw odd individuals entering the guest house on his property on Friday while he was recording a documentary. When it became clear by 4 p.m. that day that the woman had “abandoned the guesthouse,” Rucci and the owners made the decision to hire a locksmith.
In the email, Rucci informed Seward that a cameraman for the documentary crew claimed to have seen police accompany Hirschhorn off the property and that they weren’t sure if the exchange was recorded.
“You may have jumped the gun,” Seward responded. “Ms. Hirschhorn had discussed with me concern over the constant harassment and surveillance, and also the desire to get the things repaired that needed to be repaired.
“Subject to my discussions with Ms. Hirschhorn, please be advised that you have no authority to change the locks or to assume abandonment of the unit,” Seward added. “Further, you have violated the law by entering without permission and changing the locks.”
Harvard graduate Hirschhorn first stayed at the guest house in September 2021 under an Airbnb arrangement; this was then extended by the woman and Jovanovic. Hirschhorn was reportedly charged $105 per night for little over 180 days, with expenses totaling $20,793.
However, after roughly five months, Jovanovic’s claims of mould growth and water damage in the guest house caused the tenant and homeowner’s relationship to deteriorate. The woman allegedly declined the landlord’s offer to fix the damages and cover the cost of separate interim housing. After their extension agreement ended, Jovanovic later filed an eviction complaint alleging that Hirschhorn had continued to live in the guest house.
According to the LA Times, she allegedly claimed that because the flat was subject to a rent control ordinance, Jovanovic would have to evict her in order for her to leave. She further asserted that Jovanovic had not obtained the necessary licence for the guest house to function as a rentable flat, hence she was not required to pay the landlord’s rent.
The two then engaged in an 18-month legal struggle over the topic, which attracted the attention of the national media. Jovanovic made many attempts to have the woman removed, but Hirschhorn sued the man back and demanded a $100,000 moving expense.
Prior to her departure on Friday, the woman had been in the guest house for 570 days.
“I was at the property when Elizabeth Hirschhorn left on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. When we concluded she abandoned the guesthouse by taking everything that was hers, we immediately changed the locks,” Rucci told Fox News Digital.
Jovanovic, who resides in the main house on the site, claimed to have seen three guys enter his guest house. He informed the LA Times that he phoned the police because he thought they may be crooks. But the men proved to be movers after all.
Hirschhorn reportedly left the house after packing her belongings when the police arrived, based on accounts from the area.
The expansive property is located on Tigertail Road in Brentwood, and on November 3 around 1:10 PM, the LAPD verified to Fox News Digital that officers were called to a residence there. The contact was about a “landlord/tenant dispute” and a “civil matter only,” according to a representative who was unable to provide the identities of the parties concerned.
Rucci, who called Hirschhorn the “tenant from hell,” said a California judge granted the dismissal for the unlawful detainer case Monday, “so there is no eviction case because she abandoned the place voluntarily.”
“I don’t believe she will return legally. She cannot. She has to go to court, and that would be eventful. ‘Judge, please let me back into that nice place, I have not paid rent for 570 days, but he owes me for having an unpermitted show, etc.’ The statement that she could return from her lawyer is a sign of the venom that the cottage industry of harassers uses to terrorize landlords,” Rucci told Fox News Digital.
“There is no basis for Elizabeth Hirschhorn to terrorize Sascha.”
“She secured 570 days of free rent, and we want her to pay that money,” he said. “As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig. When all is said and done, the many arguments made by Elizabeth Hirschhorn are like a pig with lipstick. It simply can’t get cleaned up.”
According to the LA Times, Jovanovic stated he intended to remodel the facility, clear the “bad energy out,” and use it as a family recreation place.
In August, a group of squatters defaced an 11,000-square-foot, multimillion-dollar Hollywood Hills mansion and wrote the words “f— rich people.” This was one of the few squatting cases that Los Angeles has witnessed in recent years.
At the time, a representative for the LAPD stated that squatter-related emergency calls are “not unusual for Hollywood, honestly.”