Hundreds of tenants are facing eviction as Fergus Wilson prepares to sell his entire empire of buy to let properties. The sale has been in the pipeline for a while now, but Mr Wilson has had enough of letting homes out and now he wants to retire.
Many of Mr Wilson’s tenants received eviction notices just before Christmas and the rest are living on borrowed time. Wilson is hoping some of his properties are bought by investors with tenants in-situ, but he’s in the process of evicting tenants with a view to putting the properties on the market and remains unapologetic about his eviction policies:
“I can do what I like. You don’t want me to lie about it, do you?” Mr Wilson told the BBC.
Property Fire Sale
Mr Wilson also told the BBC that his properties would be sold off street by street. What that will do to the local housing market is anyone’s guess, but it’s unlikely to be a good thing for house prices.
Fergus Wilson and his wife are well-known for their contentious letting polices, some of which have seen them facing court battles. From banning single mothers to anyone on a zero-hours contract, the Wilsons have never been shy of courting controversy.
A recent statement from Mr Wilson encapsulates his attitude to tenants: “Basically, we have got two types of tenants – those who agree with me and ex-tenants.” It is clear Mr Wilson isn’t a man who is willing to compromise, but it’s hard to deny his success in the rental sector.
Shelter is Highly Critical of Short-Term Tenancies
Housing charity, Shelter, says the Wilsons are a perfect example of all that’s wrong with the housing sector. It says landlords like Fergus Wilson make it very hard for tenants to put down roots in communities. When a six or 12-month tenancy ends, landlords can issue a Section 21 notice with only two months’ notice.
“The insecurity this creates – particularly for children – it’s incredibly damaging,” says Shelter.
Britain’s Most Controversial Landlord on Panorama
Mr Wilson has been filming with Panorama in recent weeks, offering his insights into the private rental sector in the UK. The program, titled Britain’s Most Controversial Landlord aired on March 18 and is now available on BBC iPlayer.