Britain’s biggest buy to let landlord has faced backlash from anti-racism groups after a racist remark to a letting agent.
Controversial Kent landlord Fergus Wilson, known for his often offensive rhetoric has banned ‘coContrloureds’ from his properties. Following the example set by his ban of battered wives and single mothers, Wilson has turned his attention to yet another social group he deems unsuitable to let to.
The 69-year-old former boxer said an email to letting agent Evolution Properties saying: ‘No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.’
His reasoning behind the offensive statement was that ‘some of his houses needed to be cleaned with chemicals’ and that ‘extreme cases’ required a replacement carpet at the end of the tenancy.
Mr Wilson, who at one point owned 1,000 homes throughout Kent, in Maidstone and Ashford, came under fire for his statement from anti-racism group Hope Not Hate. Whilst the controversial landlord’s comments would not breach criminal law, his actions could lead to him being sued in a civil court.
Evolution, which manages hundreds of Wilson’s properties, refused to support his racist remarks, condemning the policy and saying it would never implement it.
However, the comments may come as little surprise to many. Back in January, Wilson issued a directive banning tenants with children under 18 as well as single adults, battered wives, tenants without a rent guarantee. He also extended the ban to people on housing benefit, low income workers, zero hours workers, plumbers, smokers and pet owners.
However, even then he had argued: ‘We have said nothing against lesbians and homosexuals or coloureds. As long as they can pay the rent.’
Hope Not Hate yesterday condemned the landlord’s comments, saying: ‘You simply cannot treat people like this and deny them a place to live due to their skin colour. If people such as this man continue to choose tenants on the basis of ethnicity he should face the full force of the law.’