Published: 15:00, 08 July 2014 |
Updated: 12:48, 09 July 2014
A controversial property tycoon says he hopes to walk away from his letting business with a £200million fortune... to write children's stories.
Landlord Fergus Wilson, who has more than 1,000 properties in Maidstone and Ashford, has decided to sell his empire and retire.
The 65-year-old, from Boughton Monchelsea, said he will instead focus his efforts on writing children's stories, which he hopes can be published in China.
He told the Kent Messenger: "I shall be broken-hearted to sell the business. My wife Judith and I have built it up over the years - we have some wonderful houses and 99.9% of our tenants are lovely.
"I made the decision last month. I am 66 this year and that has a lot to do with it. I haven't had a holiday since 1992 because we spend all our time on the business so that is the first thing I will do."
"I haven't had a holiday since 1992 because we spend all our time on the business so that is the first thing I will do..." - mogul Fergus Wilson
He added: "I am involved in writing books and I'm talking to someone in China about them. I have a meeting relating to e-books. They will be children's stories and I come up with the storylines although someone else puts them into English.
Mr Wilson has assured tenants that they will be protected and their contracts transferred to whoever buys the portfolio.
But he denied that the move was sparked by a perceived market peak in property prices, adding: "If I was 10 years younger I wouldn't be selling."
The portfolio has been estimated to be worth £100 million in The Guardian, but the Wilsons say they are optimistic it will raise double that - even after capital gains tax.
The pair, who are reportedly the biggest buy-to-let landlords in Britain, attracted controversy this year when they served eviction notices to more than 200 tenants on benefits.
Mr Wilson said this week that on reflection he regretted the move, but maintained it was necessary.
It will be the seventh time the property mogul of 45 years has retired, walking away from careers including one as a maths teacher.
He says he is now interested in penning children's e-books. He has already put his name to a several stories featuring Maidstone's heavy horses and other animals and is hoping to take them to Asia.
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