Landlord who banned ‘coloured’ tenants over ‘curry smell’ complains to police after being called racist

Buy-to-let tycoon Fergus Wilson claims he is not racist and has made an ‘economic decision’

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The Independent Online

A millionaire landlord who sparked outrage after banning “coloured” tenants due to the “curry smell” and the apparent damage it does to carpets, has complained to police after people called him racist online.

Fergus Wilson, who is worth £100m and who owns hundreds of properties in Kent, hit headlines after one of his requirements for new tenants was leaked over email. It stated: “No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.”

The 69-year-old landlord has since been sent online images and Facebook posts that show doctored images of himself and his wife Judith holding up property boards that read: “I am a racist c***, 12% of people disagree with this statement,” and “2%, the percentage of people that don’t think I’m a twunt.”

He claimed there is also a YouTube video in which he is called a “racist d***wad”. A spokesperson for Kent police said it is “aware of this issue and will be working to establish if any offences have taken place”, Metro reported. 

The property tycoon has previously banned “battered wives,” single parents, children under the age of 18, tenants on housing benefit and plumbers from renting his properties.

He claimed he had once lost more than £12,000 in rent and re-carpeting costs over a six month period after tenants left the property smelling of curry, Sky News reports. 

Property tycoon Fergus Wilson banned 'coloured' tenants due to curry smell

Speaking to Kent Online, Mr Wilson claimed he is not racist and said his policy against “coloured people” was an “economic decision,” comparing it to his ban on smokers and dog owners. 

“There has been much support for the stance I have taken. I do not apologise for it. Faced with the same circumstances I would do it again,” he said.

“I am not racist and my beef is with curry not with the colour of someone’s skin. I have merely taken an economic decision,” he added.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has promised to investigate Mr Wilson’s rules and “take legal action”. Anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate compared Mr Wilson to Alf Garnett from BBC sitcom Till Death Do Us Part, and called him the “unacceptable face of the housing crisis”.

A spokesperson said: “There is something broken in the system when such a powerful figure can get away with such an appalling policy.”

Roy Fever, the manager of Evolution Properties, which manages hundreds of the by-to-let tycoon’s homes, condemned Mr Wilson’s actions and said: “We don’t condone this at all.”

“We would never implement a policy like that. We put through anyone to the landlord and it is up to the landlord who they take on.”