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Rogue landlords who stuffed 31 people into four-bedroom Wembley house found guilty

Harsha, Chandani and Sanjay Shah and Jaydipkumar Valand were convicted of breaching landlord licensing rules after a woman was found living in a garden shack

Sanjay Shah has been convicted of breaching landlord licensing rules

A family of rogue landlords have been convicted after they were caught cramming 31 people into a "Slumdog Millionaire-esque" shanty home.

Mum and daughter Harsha and Chandani Shah, and Mrs Harsha Shah's brother, Sanjay Shah, stuffed tenants into appalling conditions in a four-bedroom house in Wembley.

Brent Council enforcement officers swooped on the property on Napier Road during a raid in July last year and found a a woman living in a lean-to shed in the back garden.

The shack had no lighting or heating and was made out of wood offcuts, pallets and tarpaulin.

Inside the house, officers found some residents sharing a single bed with night workers swapping sleeping shifts with those who worked during the day.

Four beds were discovered piled into the front room and three in each bedroom.

The family were pocketing around £112,000 a year from the tenants and were found guilty of breaching landlord licensing rules.

Jaydipkumar Valand, who collected the rent for the Shah family, pleaded guilty at the trial in December last year.

Jaydipkumar Valand, who collected the rent for the Shah family, pleaded guilty at the trial in December last year

Spencer Randolph, head of private housing services at Brent Council, said: "This judgement sends out a clear message that Brent has a zero tolerance policy towards landlords who break the law and exploit vulnerable tenants.

"The lean-to shack we found in the back garden of the property in July last year looked like something you would expect to find in a Hollywood depiction of a shanty town.

"We will prosecute any landlord or agent we find housing tenants in cramped or hazardous conditions.

"Brent's aim is to help renters by ensuring decent living conditions within the borough."

A family of rogue landlords have been convicted after they were caught cramming 31 people into a "Slumdog Millionaire-esque" shanty home

On Tuesday (May 23), the judge at Willesden Magistrates Court said: "This trial has revealed how people desperate for accommodation in London can be exploited and have paid to live in grossly overcrowded, unhygienic and unsafe conditions."

The four defendants will be sentenced at crown court at a later date.

The judge also ordered the defendants to pay Brent Council £35,000 in costs.

This month, fines paid to the courts by criminal landlords following successful prosecutions by Brent Council passed the half a million pound mark.

The council's enforcement activity results in two to five prosecutions every month.

If you are a Brent landlord who lets out shared accommodation, you can apply for a licence online at www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing

If you suspect that someone is renting out an unlicensed property in Brent, please report them anonymously at www.brent.gov.uk/reportaprope rty.

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