Published: 12:00, 17 May 2017 |
Updated: 14:27, 18 May 2017
A human rights watchdog has confirmed today it has started legal action against a millionaire property mogul over his controversial lettings policies.
Fergus Wilson hit the headlines over his banning of "battered wives", single parents and zero-hours workers from renting his properties across areas of Kent, including Maidstone and Ashford.
The former boxer from Boughton Monchelsea later sparked outrage after revealing he had forbidden lets to 'coloureds' because of the cost of removing the smell of curry at the end of their tenancy.
The ban emerged in a leaked email Mr Wilson sent to his lettings agent.
Evolution, which manages hundreds of the former boxer's properties condemned the policy and said it would never implement it.
Rebecca Hilsenrath, Equality and Human Rights Commission chief executive said: “We have asked the court if it agrees with us that Mr Wilson’s lettings policy contains unlawful criteria and, if so, to issue an injunction.
"As this is now formal legal action we will release further information at a later date.”
According to the Citizens Advice Bureau refusing to rent or let a property based on a race is unlawful.
Speaking to Kent Online, Mr Wilson said he was mystified by the injunction as the ban was not a matter of race. He said the last Asian customer to apply for one of his properties was in 2012.
He said: "I personally find Pakistani and Indian people like Chinese people to be extremely clever people and thrifty.
"That means a disproportionately high number of them own their own homes. Conversely, a disproportionately low number of them are tenants."
"There are two sides to every sheet of paper and behind what has happened is an aggrieved person who did not feed the entire story to The Sun and I am sorry they didn't."
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