Residents have no choice but to stay overnight in condemned Temple Hills apartments

About 100 people that live at the Lynnhill Condominiums will be homeless on Wednesday at noon.

Several residents decided to stay in the now condemned Lynnhill Condominiums overnight on Tuesday.

Prince George’s County police have at least four officers monitoring the complex with a Command Unit parked right in-between the two complex buildings.

First thing Wednesday morning, Attorney Gregory Singleton says he plans to file an injunction that he hopes will give residents more time to move out, but the frustration continued into Tuesday night.

Samuel Jones says he both works for and lives in Lynnhill. He told WUSA9 he had heard rumblings about something like this was coming but did not expect a forced move until October.



“Now we got to get out by 12 o’clock tomorrow? That’s crazy,” he said in one breath. In another, Jones said, “We fixed the violations!”

Mark Brady, the Prince George’s County Fire Spokesperson, said maintenance and the volunteers who worked hard over the weekend trying to say, were unable to fix 14 of 23 violations found at the troubled Temple Hills complex.

The violations not fixed were said to include a trash chute overloaded with flammable material and fire doors not working properly.

“They act like they don’t know anything,” said Jones of the condo owner he rents from.

“Of course it’s a hard situation, but it is what it is. It’s been a dump for a while and people complain but I don’t know what they’re going to do,” said Jones.

For the tenants who still have questions on what they should take, click here.

Angry residents confronted Prince George's County Fire Rescue Chief Ben Barksdale as he announced a decision to condemn the troubled Lynnhill Condominiums over chronic safety violations.

About residents were given 24-hours to get out of the two-building complex, after fire officials documented non-functioning alarms systems, unsecured fire doors and mounds of flammable trash inside the buildings.

The troubled condo complex, located at 3103 and 3107 Good Hope Avenue in Temple Hills, was cited for dozens of violations Friday and given until Tuesday morning to correct them.

RELATED: Service ordered back on at Lynnhill Condominiums

Prince George's County Social Service workers and the Red Cross is on hand to assist residents in finding alternative housing. There is as much as a $100,000 budget for emergency hotel stays, according to Social Service workers.

Attorneys for the condo owners association said the 24-hour notice is not legal. They vowed to immediately ask a judge to block the evictions.

The 210 unit complex suffers from blight caused by previous fires and widespread abandonment of units. Only 30 of the units are currently occupied.

Illegal squatters living in abandoned units is a serious issue, according to Prince George's County Police.

In October of 2016, PEPCO and Washington Gas turned off utilities after a judge ruled in their favor in a long-standing dispute with the financially strapped condo association over non-payment of at least $1 million back fees.

Hundreds of tenants left the complex permanently after that crisis, but some returned after another judge ruled the utility cut-off was not legal under Maryland law.

Since then the condo association has been unable to collect enough fees to make necessary repairs while keeping up with utility bills.

Volunteer squads of tenants and residents were organized over the weekend to attempt to repair fire code violations that were cited by officials Friday, they were not successful.

The following violations need to be corrected, according to officials: 

  • Fire alarm system must be inspected and in proper working order
  • All doors to vacant units must be secured
  • Accumulated trash/debris in all vacant units and areas must be removed
  • Fire doors throughout the buildings must operate properly, close and latch

 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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