Multi-millionaire landlord Fergus Wilson says scores of tenants face re-homing difficulties after Ashford Council’s actions precipitated his decision to sell off his huge portfolio.

It is currently applying to the High Court for a permanent injunction to end harassment that it claims has been ongoing since 2011.

The council has alleged the 72-year-old would send a huge number of letters and emails, and make phone calls and formal complaints against officers, councillors and legal representatives.

However, Wilson tells LandlordZONE: “They’re putting the boot in after I put someone’s nose out of joint. If they win, it will be a pyrrhic victory.”

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He explains that the problem stemmed from enquiries he made to the council about housing a woman with Downs Syndrome from Romania who had joined her family in one of his properties.

“When I didn’t get a reply, I wrote to the Information Commissioner and then got a letter from the council complaining about me. Then when I referred to someone as a ‘Michelin Lady’ I was asked to apologise, but I wouldn’t as I didn’t think it was abusive.”

Profanity

The court heard that council leader Gerry Clarkson reportedly received a large number of letters to his home address, one of which – amongst a large amount of profanity – told him to, “do all of the young people in Ashford a favour and commit suicide”.

Defending, Andrew Deakin argued that the communications the landlord sent out, “didn’t cross the threshold of what would be considered harassment”.

The outspoken landlord is unrepentant as he believes his tenants will lose out, whatever the outcome.

Last August, LandlordZONE reported that Wilson had decided to retire and sell off his hundreds of properties around Ashford and Maidstone, only leaving himself 10 houses.

“I’m leaving the market years earlier than I’d planned to,” he says. “I wanted to try and minimise the impact by selling my portfolio over a longer period but Ashford Council are now having to house people in shipping containers while they wait to be re-homed.”

A ruling is expected this evening.

12 COMMENTS

    • Oh! I think it will be.
      Lots of homeless tenants will result.
      Few LL will wish to take on his tenants

      As they will struggle to source new LL.

      Few of his tenants will buy the properties they are renting from FW.

      FW lets to tenants most LL wouldn’t.

      Only problem for FW is selling with vacant possession.

      With current dysfunctional eviction process it could take years for him to sell up.

      What happens if his dross tenants realise they can live rent free for years before eviction occurs.
      Could bankrupt FW!!!

      • Nailed it!

        I’ve took interest with this case from very start, they got what they deserved, and yes certain things should not be verballed, but that’s his way, councils fault soon to be their own mess and responsibility to clean up; iin your face – LOL, not that they’d ever accept.

  1. Possible that the run-in with the council was ‘the straw that broke the camels back’ ? on top of the increasing amount of regulation, costs and taxes introduced or imminent.

  2. Hmm, so he things calling someone “Michelin woman” is acceptable does he ?
    I’m autistic and struggle with social conventions, but even I can see that that is well over the bounds of reasonable behaviour. Along with the rest of the things he’s said to have done, he sounds like a right nasty piece of work – and I hope the council win on this.
    I have my own gripes with my county council (not related to our PRS business), I’m really pee’d off with them – but I can remain civil while raising a complaint.
    I hate to think what he’s like with tenants who complain – or are they all scared to complain ?

  3. Fergus has been very successful but I do think there are many that enjoy poking fun at his limited skill set – he clearly cannot deal with stress and it causes him to behave in an immature way – threatening to turn out tenants so they have to be housed in shipping containers if he does not get his own way.

    Why can’t the local authority do a deal with him and buy them from him by issuing him with a secured loan note for around the same net return Fergus is getting – the council get to use the properties without having to find capital and Fergus gets the rent without the agro

    • What is immature about him complaining about a fat illegal Romanian squatting in his property in breach of the tenants agreement.

      Nothing wrong with fat shaming.
      Obesity is feckless.

      No excuse for it.

      FW just wants these Romanians to comply with their TA.

      They aren’t so he just wants shot of them.

      Don’t blame him at all.

      If I had an illegal occupant I’d issue a S21 if the illegal didn’t vacate immediately.

      FW would be better off selling.

      Having to deal with feckless tenants must be very boring for him now.

      He should just be getting out of having to deal with these tenant types.

    • Mmm.. So very wrong in my opinion, and just because people lack certain qualities, after all there’s no sentiment in business but he’s a lesser person because if it, yes, some might say he should have learned to be more tactful, yet, he’s obviously a millionaire for a reason, something he’s done must be right!

  4. FW apparent was the classic example of when you owe the bank a few million they gave a problem.

    When you owe the bank tens of thousands you have the problem.

    If NX hadn’t adjusted things during the CC then the FW loan book would have gone up in smoke.

    Instead MX allowed facilities to avoid bankrupting FW.

    Worked out for the bank as values have restored.

    The only problem for FW has getting rid of his tenants.

    His tenants will know that they can live rent free for about 2 years if they want before eviction occurs.

    FW should be very careful or he will find none of his tenants paying rent and there will little he can do about it.

    I’m so terrified of rent defaulting tenants on just 4 properties that I’m desperate to sell up.

    I know all my occupants have to do is stop paying rent and I’ll be bankrupted and homeless by the end of the year!!

    FW may have deep pockets but I doubt even he can service the mortgage payments for all his FECKLESS RENT DEFAULTING TENANTS!

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