Prince George's County housing inspectors yesterday lifted the rental license for controversial landlord Shao Tsi Hsu's apartment development in Hyattsville because of what they termed unsanitary conditions and neglect.
Without the license, Hsu won't be permitted to rent apartments to new tenants at the 33-unit Emerson Gardens apartments at 4304 Emerson St.
Joseph T. Healy, an aide to Licenses and Permits Director William Gullett, said the property was unsanitary and littered with trash.
"Hsu just doesn't have maintenance there," Healy said. "The hallways aren't clean, there's old furniture lying around the property, and the buildings are filthy.
"The fire extinguishers are empty."
Hsu is a University of Maryland professor who has been accused of dozens of housing code violations involving his various holdings in the District and elsewhere in the Washington area.
Asked about the action taken against his property yesterday, Hsu insisted that the housing inspectors "either were lying, or you didn't hear them right."
"Someday, when I have time, I am going to take care of all those pigs," he added in an apparent reference to county officials. "I have to treat animals like animals."
Hsu, who is reputed to run a million-dollar real estate operation under a variety of business names, has chased reporters from his properties twice in recent weeks.
His involvement in the Emerson Gardens property was widely publicized after he allegedly struck Penny Mickelbury, a reporter for WJLA-TV (Channel 7) with a rod when she appeared at the apartments with a film crew and two county inspectors.
Mickelbury has since filed a charge of assault against Hsu in Prince George's District Court, authorities said yesterday.
Late last month, Heu also tried to wrest away the camera of a Washington Post photographer at another property and swung at him with a rod.
Hsu is also under investigation by D.C. police because of building code violations in properties he is believed to own in Southeast and Southwest Washington.
Hsu is scheduled to go on trial in December on perjury charges arising from his testimony in a civil trial in which he denied receiving a court order requiring him to make repairs at an apartment building he owned in Southwest Washington.
Hsu may appeal the nonrenewal of his license at Emerson Gardens to the Prince George's Landlord-Tenant Commission. He refused to say yesterday whether he will do so.