Millionaire bans zero-hours contracts workers and 'battered wives' from renting his properties

Buy-to-let landlord Fergus Wilson, who has previously ruled out accommodating 'non-white' tenants, insists objections are economic rather than bigotry

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The Independent Online

A controversial buy-to-let tycoon has defended his decision to ban zero-hours workers, single parents and “battered wives” from renting his properties as he revealed his latest letting criteria.

Fergus Wilson has also banned parents with children under 18, low-income workers, single adults and housing benefit recipients.

Mr Wilson said single parents, “battered wives” and zero-hours workers tended to be on low incomes and unable to meet the financial criteria to obtain a rent guarantee.

He previously provoked a backlash by banning Indian and Pakistani people from renting his homes because he claimed they left the properties smelling of curry.

Although they were not included on his latest list, Mr Wilson said he would still not house them due to previous experiences of paying out to rid his homes of smells.

He insisted he is not racist, and that he has rented to “non-white” people, including Gurkhas. He said his stance is based on an economic judgement.

Mr Wilson said: “It is not the colour of their skin, but the smell of the curry.”

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