Buy to let baron Fergus Wilson is seeking buyers interested in his portfolio of around 1,000 rental properties for an estimated £200 million.
Former teacher Wilson and his wife Judith gave property investors a lesson in building a buy to let business from scratch in the years leading up to the 2007 property bubble.
They capitalised on rising house prices to mortgage and remortgage time and time again to expand their portfolio.
Now, those properties, mainly in Kent, generate a rental income of around £1 million a month.
The couple want to get out of buy to let and are looking to sell all their rental homes to a single investor – probably a pension company.
“We are in talks with lots of people – including wealthy individuals from around the world who want to put their money into British property,” said Mr Wilson.
The Wilson strategy was simply – buy modern houses not flats and buy as many as you can as quickly as you can. At one stage, the couple were snapping up a new house every day.
In media interviews, the couple have also revealed that they have mortgages worth around 60% of the portfolio value and the properties generate an average yield of 6%.
After selling, they would have a gross profit of around £80 million, but would still face a hefty tax bill of between 20% and 28% of the proceeds, depending on how their business is structured.
“We’re ready to pay our dues,” said Mr Wilson, who is 66 years old. “I’ll do whatever I can legally to reduce the bill, but we’ll pay all we owe and not a penny more.
“We want to retire. We worked hard to build this business and it’s time to hand it over to someone else. Property prices and rents in Kent are continuing to rise, so most buyers would see the risk involved as moderate at worst.”