Landlord Convicted on 23 Slum Charges

A Municipal Court jury on Tuesday convicted landlord Devanand Sharma of 23 counts of having slum conditions at a building he owns at 737 S. Westlake Ave. in Los Angeles.

The panel found Sharma had failed to provide tenants with heat, did not repair broken windows, fire doors and smoke detectors, and kept walls, ceilings and plumbing in the 30-unit building in a deteriorated condition. The city attorney’s office had filed 26 criminal charges in March against the Hawthorne-area restaurateur and hotelier. Sharma will face sentencing from Municipal Court Judge Cesar Sarmiento today.

Sharma is the brother of Vijaynand Sharma, who was dubbed the city’s “worst slumlord” after his 1987 conviction for slum conditions and has been a fugitive for two years. In an earlier interview, he said he was being prosecuted because of his brother’s alleged misdeeds.