A rogue landlord has landed himself a £40,000 fine after dangerously housing 24 people in a west London home.
Tilak Raj Sarna had been given authority by London’s Brent Council to house seven people at his Wembley property.
But when regulators made an unannounced visit in January this year, they discovered 24 tenants living at the address, 10 of them young children.
Mr Sarna had pleaded guilty to overcrowding and fire safety charges, with evidence including:
- An infestation of cockroaches
- Blatant disregard of basic fire safety measures, with missing smoke alarms, overloaded electrical sockets and inadequate fire doors
- Cold and damp rooms
- Overflowing bins outside the house
Six tenants had also lived in an unheated shed in the property’s back garden, which later burnt down when one of the tenants had used a portable heater, a Court heard. A child was reportedly asleep in the shed when the blaze had started.
Mr Sarna was ordered to pay around £39,540 in fines and Court costs.
Speaking in conclusion to the case, Councillor Harbi Farah, Brent Council’s Lead Member for Housing, said: “This case underlines the necessity of our commitment to ensuring private tenants in our borough have safe, high quality accommodation.
“In situations like this, unscrupulous landlords are not only taking financial advantage of vulnerable tenants; they’re also placing tenants’ lives in danger.
“We are improving standards in Brent’s private rented properties by working with landlords through our property licensing regime, which helps ensure that tenants do not have to live in filthy, dangerous accommodation.”