Landlord Bans ‘Coloured’ tenants



Fergus and Judith Wilson, who became Britain's biggest buy-to-let tycoons, have banned 'coloured' people because they make houses and carpets smell of curry.

Mr Wilson, long regarded as Britain's biggest buy-to-let investor with nearly 1,000 properties in Kent, faced a backlash after an email leaked to The Sun newspaper surfaced, setting out his ban to a letting agent.

He said: 'The problem is the smell gets in the carpets, particularly the bloody carpets. It's the cost of re-carpeting, which in a decent detached house can be rather expensive...So all your profits for maybe a year or more is now going on new carpets'.

Wilson asserts: 'I have taken an economic view, not a racist view. And I'm saying I believe 99% of other British people would do precisely the same.'

Equally interesting and troubling is who else Mr. Wilson has removed as candidates for tenancy in his properties.

Wilson has never been too far away from controversy. In January, it emerged that the property tycoon banned single mothers, battered wives, plumbers and low income earners from becoming tenants. Mr Wilson defended the document posted online which revealed the latest 'letting criteria' which he has issued to a letting agent.

There were 11 rules dictating who will not be able to rent his properties, which also includes families with children, pet owners, smokers, single adults and workers on zero hours contracts. With no sense of irony the bigoted landlord led a campaign in 2016 to become Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner . Vowing to take on the bullies who batter their girlfriends, wives or partners. The multi-millionare said that typically, these ‘bullies cause damage to his properties by kicking down front doors, and also cause damage inside the homes’, therefore he doesn't wish to take on those who are victims of domestic violence.

Wilson maintains he did not discriminate against minorities - as long as they pay the rent.

The government office for housing and local services outlines the following as a few of the responsibilities of the tenant. Tenants must also pay the agreed rent, pay other charges as agreed with the landlord, repair or pay for any damage caused by themselves, their family or friends, and only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement or landlord allows it.

Though Mr. Wilson’s concerns of damage to his properties and receiving rent are legitimate, there are laws in place to protect his company and investments. The broader question that his exclusions raise is how will potential tenants be protected from socioeconomic and ethnic generalisations that compromise their access to housing. Because of recent housing shortages, nine million people now rent, many of these within the private sector.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the watchdog would be investigating the comments and warned of the possibility of legal action. The private rental market in the UK is no stranger to rouge and discriminatory landlords.

Peter Rachman , a landlord who operated in Notting Hill in the 1950s and early 1960s, became notorious for his exploitation and intimidation of tenants. In 2014, The Guardian published an article with statistics by Shelter that showed 136,485 renters in England reported being at the mercy of “rogue” landlords.

It seems this legacy continues on only with a new face and new tactics.

Ironically, chicken tikka masala, a curry like roasted chicken dish said to have originated in Glasgow , was hailed as England’s national dish by then minister, Robin Cook, in 2001. It was claimed to have been among the UK's most popular dishes.

Loren Williams