Fergus and Judith Wilson

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Fergus Wilson and his wife Judith are a British couple who, until December 2015, were among the UK's largest buy-to-let investors. As of 2013, they owned nearly 1,000 two- and three-bedroom properties around Ashford and Maidstone in Kent.[1] They were listed at #453 on The Sunday Times "rich list",[2] with a fortune of £180 million. However, that fortune related to the value of their properties at the peak and did not take account of any mortgage debt. The exact number of properties they owned is uncertain, but in 2007 a Daily Mail article stated that they owned 707 properties. Mr Wilson was keen to suggest that they owned 1,000, however. In December 2015, they claimed to have sold their entire portfolio to a consortium of overseas investors for around £250 million.[3]

Property investment[edit]

The couple relied heavily on leverage to build their portfolio, buying only new-build houses and remortgaging them as soon as prices went up, using the profits to finance further purchases.[4]

In September 2009 it was reported in The Times that they planned to sell their entire portfolio.[5]

In January 2014 Fergus Wilson sent eviction notices to every tenant that received housing benefit and alerted letting agents that he would no longer accept tenants who require housing benefit. This amounted to at least 200 evictions.[6]

Legal matters[edit]

In 2008, Fergus Wilson was found guilty of using a mobile phone while driving and fined £565 and had his licence endorsed with three points. He had pleaded not guilty and claimed that he had been singing into a drinks carton that he was holding to the side of his head.[7]

In 2014, Fergus Wilson was found guilty of assaulting an estate agent.[8]

In 2017 a court ruled his ban on "coloured" tenants was unlawful. His complaint centered around "curry smells" left by Asian tenants. Fergus represented himself in court offering up various defenses from "it was banter" to through to actively defending the right of landlords to refuse people based on their ethnicity. [9]

In January 2018, Wilson threatened to 'snooker' YouTube comedian Danny Hyde by suing him for £10,000 under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 over a video in which Hyde referred to Wilson as a 'bumsplat of a man', on account of Wilson's 'racist' policy of denying 'coloured' tenants because they 'leave a curry smell behind'. [10] A Crowd Funding campaign was set up to cover Hyde's court costs.[11]

Outside property[edit]

The couple are racehorse owners, an activity that earned them some criticism as they persistently entered 'no-hoper', low-quality racehorses in top races - such as their entry of the 'worst racehorse in history' into The Derby,[12] as well as similar entries in the Gold Cup, Grand National and Champion Hurdle.

Fergus Wilson initially proposed to stand as an independent candidate in the 2012 elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner of Kent Police,[13] but in the end did not stand. On 3 August 2015 he told Channel 4 News that he intended to stand for Police and Crime Commissioner in Kent in 2016, but newspaper reports suggest that he would be ineligible to stand due to his assault conviction.[14]

On 7 April 2016 Fergus Wilson's nomination for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner was rejected by the Returning Officer [15]

On 7 January 2017 Fergus Wilson announced that he would no longer accept victims of domestic abuse, claiming that victims of domestic violence often have partners ruin his properties, he also banned plumbers claiming they would often overprice quotes.[16]

On 27 March 2017, Fergus Wilson stated he had made an "economic decision" to ban "coloured" people from renting his homes in Kent.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Buy-to-let guru Judith Wilson sells after doing the maths". This is Money. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  2. ^ "Judith and Fergus Wilson". The Times. London. 27 April 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Daily Telegraph - 9 December 2015 - Fergus Wilson, Britain's most iconic buy-to-let investor, sells up all 900 houses for £250m
  4. ^ "Tales of a Landlady A route to royal riches". The Times. London. 14 March 2004. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, Rebecca (3 September 2009). "Former maths teachers sell their property empire as prices creep up". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Robertson, Laurna (2014-01-06). "PRS landlord to evict tenants on housing benefit | News". Insidehousing.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  7. ^ Hunter, Chris (2008-04-22). "Millionaire fined for driving offence". Kentonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  8. ^ Perry, Keith (2014-04-11). "Property tycoon found guilty of assaulting estate agent". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  9. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/nov/08/landlord-ban-coloured-tenants-unlawful-court-rules-equality-watchdog
  10. ^ http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/15/racist-landlord-banned-coloureds-sues-youtuber-calling-racist-7229806/
  11. ^ https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rescue-danny-hyde-tv
  12. ^ "KentOnline Home". Kentmessenger.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  13. ^ Ed Hill (2015-06-05). "Buy-to-let millionaire stands for Kent police commissioner - News". Kentnews.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  14. ^ . kentnews.co.uk. 2015-10-12 http://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/fergus-wilson-ineligible-to-be-44643/. Retrieved 2015-10-15.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ http://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/wilson-blocked-from-standing-for-93931/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/06/britains-biggest-landlord-has-banned-battered-wives-plumbers/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ See The Independent (28 March 2017)