A multi-millionaire property tycoon says he will evict pregnant single women and single mums with newborns from his properties – but blames the council for his decision.
Landlord Fergus Wilson, 69, once boasted a property portfolio worth £200 million and is one of the UK’s largest buy-to-let investors along with wife Judith.
Mr Wilson says he isn’t a “bad guy” and blamed his decision on Ashford Borough council and “too strict” enforcement rules on landlords.
These rules mean landlords are fined if they fail to fix faulty boilers and heating systems “within four days” if there is a baby in the house.
This week Mr Wilson said he has already ended the tenancies of four single mums with newborn kids – and has said he will evict single women who get pregnant.
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At the height of his and his wife’s property empire, the former maths teachers owned just under 1,000 homes, mainly two and three-bed properties, worth just under £200m.
Despite selling off around 400 homes in recent times, Mr Wilson and his wife still have a vast property portfolio.
Earlier this month Ashford Borough Council announced that rogue landlords faced fines of up to £30,000 if they ignore their legal responsibilities after adopting new enforcement powers, which can be dealt with by way of civil penalties, rather than through the criminal courts.
Speaking earlier this month, Cllr Gerald White said he was delighted at the new enforcement powers, adding: “I’m supportive of the proposed implementation of the civil penalty policy to allow the council to consider imposing fines on landlords who fail to comply with housing law, as an alternative to prosecution.
“Implementing the policy will hopefully deter landlords from failing in their responsibilities in providing safe homes and ensuring that they comply with the relevant housing law.”
A spokesman for Ashford Borough Council said it only used enforcement action against landlords as a ‘last resort’.
He said: “We have duty to ensure decent standards for tenant who are renting privately.
“We always work with landlords to ensure those standards are met and try to assist them as much as possible.
“Formal enforcement action is very much a last resort, but we will take action where necessary.”