Landlord Shao Ti Hsu, whose repeated citations for housing violations have earned him court penalties in both the District and Prince George's County, was evicted from his $300,000 Potomac home Saturday amid growing signs that his self-proclaimed million-dollar real estate empire has fallen on hard times.
On Saturday Hsu, 65, and his wife Charlotte were served with an eviction notice by three Montgomery County sheriffs. The house, at 11 Tanager Ct. in Potomac, had been sold at auction June 8 after Hsu failed to pay creditors close to $900,000 that he was held to owe in several dozen court judgments.
Hsu's home was purchased at the auction by Louis L. Glickfield, owner of Marlo Furniture and a former business partner of Hsu's. Glickfield had him evicted after Hsu last Friday exhausted his last legal efforts to block the sale.
According to Glickfield's attorney, Edward H. Kerman, another creditor several weeks ago foreclosed upon Hsu's 33-unit Emerson apartments in Hyattsville, the scene of numerous housing violations that resulted in the temporary suspension of Hsu's rental license in Prince George's County. Guardian Federal Savings and Loan foreclosed when Hsu failed to pay either of two mortgages he held on the property, Kerman said.
In 1976 a Baltimore bank foreclosed on Hsu's apartment property at 1621 T St. NW after Hsu failed to pay either of two mortgages he held on that property.
Hsu had purchased both properties from Glickfield, and Glickfield held second trusts on each one. After the banks foreclosed, Kerman said, Glickfield was held liable for the remainder of the money owed. He initiated several lengthy court battles to recover that money from Hsu, and bought Hsu's Potomac home in an effort to regain some of those funds.
In the last three years, Hsu has been the target of several dozen law suits regarding his failure to pay Glickfield and other creditors such as Washington Gas Light Co. and Pepco.
Hsu, who in addition to his real estate ventures is an engineering professor at the University of Maryland, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
On Saturday, Hsu told a Washington Post reporter that he was moving because "We chose to have another house, a bigger house." He first said he had wanted the sheriff to come to his home, but gave no explanation. Then he said he didn't know why the deputies came.
Later in the day Hsu engaged the Cook Transfer Co., Inc. of Arlington to move his belongings out of the street. Michael Buzynski, owner of Cook Transfer, said that Hsu called him Saturday morning to ask him to move his family's belonging into storage.
Buzynski said Hsu has now found a new house, also in Potomac, and that his belongings are being moved there. He would not disclose the new address. "To be honest with you, he's got a lot of stuff," said Buzynski, "We're using our two largest trucks."
In his capacity as a landlord Hsu frequently made headlines for his combative treatment of his tenants and critics.
In 1976 he paid several thousand dollars in fines for violations of building and fire codes in his inner-city apartment buildings. In 1980 Prince George's County suspended his rental license because of similar violations in his low-rent apartments in Seat Pleasant and Hyattsville, but the county reinstated the license in August.
Hsu was jailed briefly in 1980, after he was charged with assaulting a tenant organizer, and again in 1981 for assaulting an 11-year-old boy who tried to place garbage in a can on one of Hsu's rental properties.