He’s the landlord that ‘hates’ his tenants; the landlord who seems to be constantly in court; the multi millionaire who refuses to accept tenants who are on zero-hours work contracts, single parents and, above all, anyone on benefits.
With 300 properties Mr Wilson – and his wife – is one of the largest private landlords in the country. He also has a smooth turn of phrase, including gems like, “Not everyone on housing benefit is a problem but every problem is on housing benefit.”
“The problem is, they don’t get paid enough in benefits from Her Majesty’s government to pay the rent,” he adds, “What you have to understand is that the private-sector landlord does not have a duty of care. It is the local council who has the duty of care.”
The landlord rules, not the tenant. But I think you’ve worked that out, haven’t you?
The Panorama programme certainly showed the bad element in residential lettings in the UK – landlords who brazenly say, “I can do what I like.” He was particularly referring to the Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction route, in which a tenant, currently, doesn’t have any security of tenure and can be evicted without reason with two months’ notice.
His most notorious statement was in 2018 when he told a letting agent that he would not accept “coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.”
Letting agent readers: have you had experience of landlords like Fergus Wilson? If so, please let us know and tell us the story: