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Fergus Wilson's mass eviction of Ashford tenants to begin next week

Hundreds of people are set to be ordered out of their homes next week, a buy-to-let magnate has announced.

Fergus Wilson, 70, said he hopes to sell his portfolio of 300 homes by the end of the year and advised tenants to start looking for other properties.

His wife Judith Wilson, 68, was ordered to pay £25,000 in fines and legal costs last month for failing to supply hot water to a disabled tenant.

Fergus Wilson
Fergus Wilson

The couple, of Heath Road in Boughton Monchelsea near Maidstone, said they would appeal the decision and threatened to crash Ashford’s property market.

Now, Mr Wilson has revealed 32 homes have been sold independently and talks are underway to offload some stock in batches.

A total of 90 Section 21 notices will be delivered to tenants next week, allowing two months to vacate, he added.

“I do feel sad for people who are going to be homeless, it will be hardest for parents with young children, because most landlords won’t accept them.

“I also feel sad selling the houses. We have built them up over the years but we can’t take them to the grave with us.

“We haven’t thought about what we will do with the money yet, I’m not going to buy a Rolls-Royce or anything like that.

“I could do that now - it is money down the drain,” he said.

Fergus and Judith Wilson
Fergus and Judith Wilson

The Wilsons, who at one time owned a 1,000-strong property portfolio, are no strangers to controversy.

In 2017, Mr Wilson’s ban on “coloured” tenants - because they allegedly left curry smells in his homes – was overturned in a court victory for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

More recently he evicted four mothers in the Ashford borough blaming the district council’s "strict rules" on how quickly boilers need to be fixed in homes with babies.

In September he triggered a police response when he threw his plate of fish and chips on the floor at a service station.

Fergus Wilson - Enjoying a plate of fish and chips (3966831)
Fergus Wilson - Enjoying a plate of fish and chips (3966831)

Speaking about selling off the Ashford homes, Mr Wilson said he is in talks with businessmen from India and Nigeria.

He added: “I am meeting a large scale landlord this weekend to discuss selling some homes in batches.”

Councillor Gerald White, ABC portfolio holder for housing, said the authority will help evicted tenants “as much as we can.”

He said: “Mr Wilson is a landlord, he is well within his legal rights to do what he wants with his properties whether that’s to sell or rent them.

“We will help them (evicted tenants) as much as we can.

“If people need help they should contact our housing option team.”

Landlords have the legal right to retain possession at the end of a tenancy, but must follow the legal procedure.

Under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, landlords can issue a Section 21 notice to regain possession after the initial period of the agreement.

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