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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Race row landlord vows to evict single mums with babies

One of the UK’s largest and arguably most controversial buy-to-let landlord who last year banned ‘coloured people’ from renting any of his properties because ‘they make them smell of curry’ has turned his attention to another innocent social group.

Having already barred battered wives and plumbers from occupying his homes, Fergus Wilson, who runs a property empire in Kent alongside his wife Judith, has caused further controversy by saying that he will evict single women who become pregnant and single mums with newborn babies.

Landlord Fergus Wilson, 69, insists that he is not a “bad guy” and blamed his decision on the “strict” enforcement rules imposed on landlords by Ashford Borough Council, which earlier this week announced plans to adopt new powers to crackdown on rogue landlords

Wilson argues that the council’s new policy on landlords having to fix boilers within four days if the tenant is a single mum with a baby is “too restrictive”.

Landlords who miss targets face being fined if they do not abide by the ‘emergency maintenance policy’.

The landlord told the Kentish Express: “I just can’t risk something going wrong and not being able to get a plumber there in time – have you ever tried to get a plumber, there’s a national shortage.”

In a letter to Gerald White, Ashford Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing, Wilson wrote: “It is heartbreaking to terminate the contracts, but we cannot recruit staff and service the tenants. The landlord has proved to be a controversial figure (Picture: PA) ‘The council has brought this decision on itself.”

He added: “We know we will not be able to comply with that expectation so (I) have brought these tenancies to an end.”

Wilson, who owns hundreds of properties in Ashford and Maidstone in Kent, confirmed that he had already given four single mums with babies two months’ notice to vacate their homes.

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.”

Poll: Is Fergus Wilson's decision to evict single women who become pregnant and single mums with newborn babies justified?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    The government are causing all this NOT Landlords.
    They are his properties,no one should tell him what to do.

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    his properties, his choice. single mums on benefits can be a nightmare, Indians often leave properties dirty and smelly

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    nothing like a good generalisation to support an outrageous decision. Mr Wilson could employ a plumber with the number of properties that he owns. That is if anyone will work for him.
    I would not want to rent a property from either PK or AT either as they clearly share the belief that only the landlord matters and tenants are a necessary inconvenience.

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    That probably makes all 3 of you happy as I doubt either would be keen to rent to you either! I wonder if the Ashford councillors would accept personal liability for such fines if their subsidised council tenants' boilers weren't fixed in 4 days.

     
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    Having 500 properties for some considerable tells me that he knows what he is doing . I totally 100% agree with him and operate in a similar fashion. I have had single mums on benefits and it does not work hence no single mums on benefits I have had Indians who I find are on the whole great tenants but because of their constant eating habits dont have them any more. Getting a plumber or any or the professional tradesman is very difficult mainly due to demand in keeping up with the every changing rules and regs. It's about time tenants were made legally to have PAT certs on their own Elec items and to sign government / council forms confirming that they the tenant will not use electricity in a hazards fashion, not place clothing over radiators and ventalte the property they have been giving to rent.

     
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    Anyone know an email address for Fergus Wilson. I'm happy to help him find a plumber within four days. Peter.England@patma.co.uk www.patma.co.uk

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    Yet another example of a council dragging other people down to their standards. They can never do a job on time so of course no else can.

    I had a property report come in a few weeks ago. The shower was running hot and it needed fixing. Nobody rushed about that but I was suspicious so i went into the property myself. Nothing wrong with the shower at all, whatsoever. Scratches head. Light bulb lights up over head. I will check the boiler. The tank stat had failed so the boiler was regulating on its overheat stat. so tank was running at about 85 deg.No complaint form the tenant, only from the agent after a routine visit. Then a misdiagnosis and further seven days for me to get organised for a simple fault I was told.. Very quickly realised it was a serious fault but I don't have a P certification, issued by the blasted council, to do the work so another five days to get a registered plumber and so on. I am more than capable of doing that sort of work but the asinine legal system we have would have declared me guilty of putting peoples life at risk and hit me with a big fine.

    My point, four days is far too short a time for setting legal proceedings. Not even a decent landlord can work to that even if they are standing by the plumbing whatever when it goes wrong.

    The world of maintenance is a complete mystery to the minions of the UK. Mr Wilson has a very valid business point.

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    He does have a point, council are looking to fine the landlord for matters outside their control, often parts need ordered or boilers need replaced and it is physically not possible sometimes to achieve this in a 4 day period especially for example if the fault is reported say Friday pm etc etc ..
    council are causing these outcomes with relentless landlord bashing and tenants as usual are paying the price for them meddling ..
    I bet the council won’t be fining themselves if they take a week to replace a boiler or telling their tenants to report to their landlord bashing team

  • John Cart

    Ashford, like almost all other Councils have realised this is an excellent money making scheme.
    1. Set impossible targets as part of their "scheme".
    2. Wait for landlords to fail to meet these targets.
    3. Offer a swingeing "civil penalty" in place of a court case.
    4. Collect loads of lovely lolly for very little effort to pay their ridiculous salaries and fund their ludicrous pension schemes.
    All this from organisations that can't even sweep streets without cocking it up. You really couldn't make this stuff up could you.

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    Correct you would think at first glance these policies are clueless but they are to generate income at the landlords expense .. evermore frustrating when they probably can’t match these demands themselves

     
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