Britain’s biggest landlord is once again causing offence and controversy after deciding to ban ‘battered wives’ from his rental properties.
Fergus Wilson, who owns a buy to let property empire in Kent, has made the shock statement that he will no longer take victims of domestic abuse as tenants in his properties due to the potential damage caused by angry partners kicking down doors or punching holes in walls.
Wilson’s latest ‘letting criteria’ outlines 11 new rules, which also excludes several other groups, including plumbers. He is also no longer permitting single parents, workers on low income or zero hours contracts, families with children, pet owners, smokers and single adults, in a move he describes as ‘sensible.’
He claimed that the restrictions were ‘just economics,’ and said: ‘I live in the big bad world of reality, if I do not let properties and do not get the rent then I do not eat, I starve to death… it is the Government’s job to help poor people.’
On the particularly harsh exclusion of victims of domestic violence he said that despite having some compassion for the tenants, the damage done to his properties is not worth his while. He explained: ‘It costs us money and we basically have all the trouble of putting it back together again,’ he said. ‘You have the property empty for a couple of months if something like paint has been thrown around. If we don’t take battered wives, this doesn’t happen.’
Mr Wilson concluded: ‘The system is against single people, but most of my properties are family homes. If ever a person came in wearing pink socks and defaulted on rent, and it became a regular problem, then we would stop renting to people who wear pink socks.’