Please Note: This Article is 6 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Letting Criteria:

In an act of defiance, But-to-Let property tycoon 69 years old Fergus Wilson has issued an 11 point set of letting criteria for his mainly family rental homes in Kent.

The criteria effectively bans single mothers, battered wives, families with children and even plumbers from becoming his tenants.

Defending his action of posting the document online, Mr Wilson says: “We have said nothing against lesbians and homosexuals or coloureds. As long as they can pay the rent”

The document, which was issued at the end of December for the start of the New Year, Mr Wilson said: “Like any business, we are consistently fine tuning to best advantage.”

The 11 criteria for those not eligible to rent his properties also include families with children, pet owners, smokers, single adults and workers on zero hours contracts. And only those who meet his criteria, who can show they are able to afford rent and can obtain a rent guarantee insurance policy are to be accepted in 2017.

Mr Wilson told of the thinking behind his 11 points in his letting criteria for 2017:

“The average salary in Ashford is £23,000, but with average rents of £1,000 per month and to provide a rent guarantee someone would need to be earning at least £30,000 a year for our properties.

“The system is against single people, but most of my properties are family homes. We don’t have one-bedroom flats.”

“We do a letting criteria every year, and like four out of five landlords we don’t accept those on low incomes and housing benefit.

Mr Wilson and wife Judith own between them hundreds of properties in Kent, right across Maidstone and Ashford.

They still run their property empire, which was started in the 90s when they were both teachers, whilst continuing to sell-off properties.

Mr Wilson stated as his reasons that families with children and single parents pose a problem were that it can take up to 13 months to get a possession order when things go wrong or if he decides to sell.

Mr Wilson said that typically single mothers and battered wives attract bullies who cause untold damage to his properties by kicking down front doors, and causing more damage inside, so he does not want to add further to his problems, especially by taking on victims of domestic violence.

He justifies his ban on plumbers by saying that they regularly offer to carry out seemingly routine repairs before telling him that more work needs to be done, leading him to believe that they are “ripping him off”.

“We are in business to make money so we make a selection based on a sensible business plan.

“If ever a person came in wearing pink socks and defaulted on rent, and it became a regular problem, then we would stop renting to people who wear pink socks.”

The Wilson’s Letting Criteria


Letting Criteria from 1st January 2017

Like any business we are consistently fine tuning to best advantage.

The following are not acceptable:

1)      Tenants with children under 18. A child over 18 can be a co-tenant

2)      Only tenants with a Rent Guarantee

3)      No single mums or single fathers

4)      No tenants on Housing Benefit

5)      No low income workers

6)      No single adults

7)      No Zero hours workers

8)      No plumbers

9)      No battered wives

10)   No smokers

11)   No tenants with pets

Both tenants names to go on the Tenancy! Take National Insurance. Take car numbers. Take details of employment.

Fergus Wilson

27 12 2016


Mr Wilson says that he takes the usual precautions that most landlords do; taking details of national insurance numbers, employment and car registration details for council car parking permits and for flats with allotted spaces to prove who is living in his properties to insurers, and to prove that his tenants can afford to live there.


Please Note: This Article is 6 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


  1. As a letting agent i agree with most 11 points as a base criteria, but would always delve deeper into each applicants situation before ruling them out. Victims of circumstance for instance are not always bad or attract undesirables.

  2. Thank you for the article. I actually came across such an advert on Gumtree and exchanged few emails with an \”owner\”. I managed to get a postcode so had a look around and found out that there are no such windows on the buildings or white chimneys as depicted on the pictures.
    Google picture search is a handy feature and I found the same pictures on airbnb offered property in a different city.
    Didn`t continue with the conversation with the scammer, but I guess a request for a money in advance would appear shortly.


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