Condo residents to lose electricity in Prince George’s County
By Tim Barber
24 October 2016

TEMPLE HILLS, Md. (ABC7) — On Monday, dozens of families in Prince George’s County were told their electricity will be shut off on Oct. 25.

The residents at the Lynnhill Condominiums told ABC7 On Your Side they received a notice of intent about the proposed shut off.

“None of the residents really know what’s going on,” said Passion Pleasant.

Pleasant says this is just the latest in a long list of problems at the complex.

She told us the elevators are broken, so her five kids have to walk up six floors every day.

Fire damage is still visible from a blaze in 2014.

Residents also claim the complex is a crime magnet. 7 On Your Side saw detectives walk into the building Monday evening, but it is not clear what they were doing there.

“I am going to have to move,” said resident Sam Johnson.

Two weeks ago, 7 On Your Side reported that officials with Prince George’s County warned residents the utilities could possibly be turned off because condo managers have not been paying all the utility bills.

We called the complex’s management company, but no one returned our calls.

Residents are not sure whether or not to blame management or condo owners who have failed to pay their fees.

“We have, really, nowhere to go,” said Pleasant.

Condo Residents Forced to Leave After Condo Association Fails to Pay Back Bills
News 4
By Tracee Wilkins
25 October 2016

More than 100 families began to leave their homes today in Prince George's County, Maryland, after their electric and gas service was shut off because the condo association hadn't paid $1.2 million in utility bills.

The drama at Lynhill Condominiums in Temple Hills has been building for years; the complex has a history of code violations that stretches back into the late 1990s. The complex filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010.

past management company was misusing residents' condo fees

More recently, the condo association alleged that a past management company was misusing residents' condo fees.

"What they did was they were taking owners' condo fees and not paying utilities," said Stanley Briscoe, the condo association's treasurer.

The condo board treasurer said he was frustrated, because he had hoped the association could reach an agreement with Pepco. The utilities have said they had worked with the complex for years, but said they had no choice after failed payment plans couldn't get accounts caught up.

Tuesday, residents were given a new deadline: Three days to leave. Pepco shut off power to the complex; Washington Gas quickly shut of gas service as well. Now, the buildings are unfit for occupancy.

And the residents -- many low-income, and many renting from condo owners -- are trying to navigate dark hallways to get their belongings moved out before someone else beats them to it.

"My house has been broken into three times, from being around here," said tenant Jessica Rollins. "I guess all hell is going to break loose here tonight."
Rollins has five children, and she had just filled up her refrigerator with food when the power was cut.

"I have been paying my rent on time for the last two years, I've never had any issues or anything," Rollins said. "And for them to tell me they can't do anything is unacceptable."


How you can help the residents forced out of Temple Hills condominium complex
26 October 2016

TEMPLE HILLS, Md. - More than 300 residents in Temple Hills have been forced out of their homes after the condo association responsible for the building they live in failed to pay a massive debt of over $1 million for past due utilities. This resulted in the electricity and gas being cut off at the Lynnhill Condominiums on Tuesday.

Authorities have posted notices for residents to vacate the building and they are being given three days to find other housing accommodations as the property will be closed off. Even with no power or heat, many residents with nowhere to go still stayed at their units overnight on what was the coldest night so far this fall.

Prince George’s County said they are attempting to assist these residents to find other housing and resources along with transportation to help relocate them.

There has also been an outpouring of support from local churches along with several organizations such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army coming together to bring food and clothing donations as well as temporary shelter. Two moving companies have also been helping tenants move their belongings at no cost.

So how can you help?
Prince George’s County has established a “Neighbors in Need Fund" for donations. To donate, go to

American Red Cross National Capital Region:

The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command:

Anyone in need of help or would like to offer help can also call the Homeless Hotline at 888-731-0999, 301-864-7095 or 301-532-3219.


Service ordered back on at Lynnhill Condominiums
Scott Broom
28 October 2016

The Public Service Commission of Maryland has ordered the utilities back on at Lynnhill Condominiums in Temple Hills.

As of 9:30 p.m. Friday night, the lights are back on at the complex.

State regulations require utility companies to notify customers at least 14 days before terminating service. The notices must be placed in highly visible public areas, like mailboxes, entrances, and exits.

The Maryland Attorney General received affidavits from residents who claimed a notice was posted on Monday, October 24, that utilities would be turned off as early as the next day.

The Attorney General said based on the affidavits, Pepco or WGL, or possibly both, violated the regulations.

The commission ordered the utilities to give a written response explaining whether they gave a proper 14-day notice. They must also explain why they shouldn’t be fined or face a civil penalty.

In the meantime, the commission ordered Pepco and WGL to restore service as soon as possible.

Conditions have now turned dangerous for residents of a financially failed condominium complex who refuse to leave even though the utilities have been cut for four days.

Fire officials are deeply worried about tenants using open flame candles and generators inside the two seven-story towers at the Lynnhill Condominiums on Good Hope Avenue in Temple Hills. Fire alarms do not work because power to the buildings has been cut. Fire extinguishers in darkened hallways have been removed.

Prince George’s County attempted to condemn the complex after the utilities were cut, but Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Leo H. Green Jr. ruled that residents should be allowed access for a week while efforts to force PEPCO and Washington Gas to restore utilities go forward in court.

The ruling set up what amounts to a human crisis for those who refuse to leave. Police have brought in outdoor lighting and are standing guard to prevent unrest or looting.

There were 77 units occupied by at least 116 families, according to Renee Pope, Assistant Director of Prince George’s County Community Services.

County officials are assisting at least 37 of those families with relocation to other apartment complexes or homeless shelters. Others have found accommodations on their own through family and friends, Pope said. An unknown number are staying put.

top  contents  chapter  previous  next