UK’s largest private BTL landlord, Fergus Wilson, has confirmed the sale of an “undisclosed” number of properties in his portfolio which he states will be sold to owner-occupiers and not to a buy to let investor landlord.
Described by a judge as “difficult and stubborn”, Fergus Wilson has been subject to a lot of controversy over the years, most recent being purportedly banning 'coloured' people from renting his properties; but the millionaire property tycoon has now confirmed the sale of a number of “top of the range” properties out of his property portfolio estimated at around 700 BTL properties all around the Ashford area in Kent.
Reporting to Property Industry Eye, Wilson confirmed that “I have put together a portfolio of top of the range houses in Ashford.” And that This essentially means that when sold, they will go to owner occupiers rather than private landlords who will be seeking higher yields.”
According to the Guardian news report, Wilson will be issuing 90 households in Ashford, Kent two months to move out as part of his plan to sell off his property portfolio. Wilson has already reportedly sent out section 21 eviction notices to an entire street in which he owns of 15 properties, but confirmed that none of them had been difficult tenants.
Nine families with children under the agent of ten have already stated that they have no chance of getting another property and could be left homeless.
Wilson told the Guardian that “I feel remorse but, at the same time, I am going to have to do it,” he said. “If I give them six months, so what? Unless somebody is going to rapidly build a lot more houses, where do the people live in the meantime?” He added: “They are not doing very well at finding somewhere to go. If their household income is under £30,000, you can bet your boots they won’t get a property.”
Fergus and his wife Judith, former maths teachers, built their property empire using classic leverage and refinancing when easy credit was at its prime. In the run up to 2007, it was reported they were buying a house almost every day, all new build houses, remortgaging them when prices went up and using the profit to leverage a deposit to expand their portfolio. In total they amassed nearly 1,000 properties around Ashford and Maidstone in Kent until the financial crisis hit.
Since then, the private rented sector has doubled in size and now accounts for one in every five households in the country, with one in four families with children now privately renting.