The economic turmoil following the shock Brexit vote is hampering one of the UK’s biggest buy-to-let landlords in his attempt to sell 900 rented homes.
Fergus Wilson, a private buy-to-let landlord who has been mired in controversy for years, has had his attempts to sell his entire portfolio of around 900 residential properties to foreign investors, wealthy individuals and financial institutions, stalled as a consequence of economic uncertainty surrounding the EU vote.
With multiple UK property deals stalling over current market fears, the Daily Telegraph reports that landlord, Fergus Wilson, is still waiting for a large number of exchanges on his properties to complete, meaning some of the deals could collapse altogether.
Wilson controversially evicted all of his Housing Benefit supported tenants two years ago, claiming they were high risk, and also increased rents across his residential property portfolio by up to 33% last year, following the tax relief changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne.
Wilson told the Daily Telegraph that he believes buy-to-let landlords will become richer as a result of the UK’s vote to the leave the EU, because tighter immigration policies are likely to lead to better quality tenants.
Wilson announced he was to sell his 250m residential portfolio in and around Kent at the end of last year as he saw headwinds in the buy-to-let market and he wanted to retire.
“I don’t think Brexit will have much effect on buy-to-let house prices because they’re mainly cheaper properties worth less than 500,000 outside of London, so the prices don’t have as far to fall.
“People have got to have somewhere to live and immigration is forcing up rents at the bottom of the market. Vultures like myself have bought all the cheap properties, and we put in them the people who are able to afford the rent.
“At the moment the vast majority of my tenants are Eastern Europeans who work in low skilled work but are cash rich. Poorer English people are totally off my radar – they don’t really get a look in as they are mainly in council houses.
“I think the points system being designed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove will help landlords because it will help us get better quality tenants. They won’t send the ones that are already here home, and if they only let skilled ones in that means better tenants for us.
“Ten years ago I housed a lot of single mums and battered wives who were a good category of tenant. They were pretty good at paying the money and looking after the houses. But then in about 2005 the eastern Europeans started coming and they made really good tenants. I haven’t advertised a property for five years because they always ask – can my friend move in?
Brexit vote stalls UK’s biggest buy-to-let property sale https://t.co/wRGK4CMKvc
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) July 7, 2016