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The Renter of a $1.7m Home in Los Angeles Left the Country, and the Owner Turned the House Into an Illegal Airbnb


As seen in the Los Angeles Times, a 31-year-old woman hired out her $1.675 million home in Los Angeles to a musician who then turned it into an illegal Airbnb cash cow while living in the UK.

According to The Times, Nikeeta Sriram bought the property in March 2022. It has a main house with three bedrooms and a separate back house with one bedroom and a loft.

The Times says that Sriram chose to rent her home to 36-year-old Nicholas Jarzabek because she didn’t want to break her lease and was renting in Los Feliz at the time.

Sriram told the news source, “He seemed like the perfect tenant until he turned into a nightmare.”

The Times says that Jarzabek paid his $8,500 rent on time or early every month for the first year he lived there and didn’t ask for any repairs.

The newspaper said that in December 2023, Sriram found out that her home was being rented out on Airbnb, which was against the terms of the lease.

The Times reported that the police were called after the ADT alarm went off several times. ADT told Sriram that Airbnb guests had set off the alarm.

When asked, Jarzabek said he wasn’t subletting the house, but Sriram found ads for it on Airbnb, according to the Times.

At first, someone named Rich Jacobs was in charge of the Airbnb account. It is not clear if this was a fake name for Jarzabek or a friend.

The front house was offered for $688 per night and the back house for $496. According to the Times, both buildings have more than 100 reviews on Airbnb.

Reports from the Times say that the subpoena found that the Airbnb listing made $215,954 over 16 months, or $13,500 a month.

The Times said in February that Sriram booked the house to talk to the account user and wrote, “STOP RELISTING THIS PROPERTY.” You are not allowed to rent this property to someone else!”

Reports from the press say she got the reply: “Dear Nikeeta, Thank you and welcome. This is a great place to have fun.

The entries were taken down for a short time, but soon after, new ones showed up.

The newspaper looked at the case and found that the property listings didn’t have any exterior photos and gave a false address that was about a mile away from the real location.

Although Sriram thought about changing the locks, she didn’t because she didn’t want to break the lease and have to pay for damages. The newspaper said that instead, she asked the Los Angeles Superior Court to remove her and told Jarzabek’s lawyer to stop what she was doing.

While the case was going on in court, the house was still hired to a new tenant through a company called Monthier, which has other rentals in LA.

Business Insider asked Monthier for a response, but he didn’t answer right away.

Sriram told the Times that she finally had to go to the house herself to let guests know what was going on.

“I felt awful. That wasn’t what she wanted to say, but she did say, “This is our only option since Airbnb didn’t help us.”

The Times got confirmation from Airbnb that the ad is no longer live and that Jacobs’ account has been deleted. BI asked the company for a word, but they didn’t answer right away.

Part of the lawsuit had Sriram ask Airbnb for details about Jarzabek. They found that Jacobs’s registered phone number was a UK number, as reported by the Times.

The newspaper said that Jarzabek can be seen performing in London bars under the name Nick Diver in Instagram posts.

The Instagram account linked to Diver didn’t answer right away when BI asked for a reaction.

“If the city can’t figure out how to crack down on Airbnb, it should err on the side of caution and ban the platform until it can build a task force to manage it,” Sriram told the paper.

The Times says that Jarzabek stopped paying rent after Sriram put in the notice to vacate. She told the newspaper that she thinks she has lost $100,000 this year because of damage to her property, court fees, and not being able to pay her rent.

The Times reported that Sriram’s case for unlawful detainer was recently upheld, which means she can go ahead with an eviction.

The newspaper also said that she had been given a writ of possession, which lets the sheriff take back the property and give it to her. But there is a list of people who want that service that goes on for several months.

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