A landlord who falsely claimed benefits while forcing tenants to live in squalor has been convicted of fraud and jailed for 26 weeks.
Sheffield landlord Nilendu Das, 45, took a regular income from his family property business while receiving more than £17,000 in council tax benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance in two years. He enjoyed expensive holidays and sent his son to private school.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that Das used cash from Das Properties, owned by his parents in India, to jet to Dubai and drive a flash car.
But tenants at the houses he owned in Sheffield lived in squalor. Complaints included mouldy walls, broken doors and lack of insulation.
Robert Sandford, prosecuting, said: “On an application for a credit card he said he earned £42,000 a year as a professional landlord.
“Accounts show private school payments for his son.”
Das, of Carter Knowle Avenue, Carter Knowle, admitted two counts of fraud. He is awaiting a further sentence at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court for four failures to comply with improvement notices, and harassing a former tenant on Neill Road in Hunter’s Bar.
In August a court heard how he for bombarded a 25-year-old tenant with text messages after she complained about the state of his house. Five people, the majority of whom were on housing benefit, lived in squalor while he pocketed taxpayers’ cash for their rent. Das wrote a clause into the tenants’ contracts saying they would be charged £350 if they complained.
At the time he was serving a suspended prison sentence for changing the locks at the flat of another tenant, on Cemetery Road in Sharrow, who had complained his home was unsafe.
Judge Robert Moore said: “For two years you had a comfortable life with your parents’ money and got an extra £17,731 in public money. This was greed, not need.”
Dermot Hughes, defending, claimed Das had “got lost in a fog of figures” and said the landlord had a low IQ.