Published: 12:00, 17 May 2017 |
Updated: 14:35, 23 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."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.