Controversial Landlord Fergus Wilson Sells

Controversial Landlord Fergus Wilson Sells

11:15 AM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago 20

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Fergus Wilson, probably one of Britain’s most controversial Landlords, claims to have sold his portfolio of Buy to Let properties in Kent to a foreign consortium for £250 million.fergus wilson

In a statement given to the Guardian Mr Wilson said, “We reached an agreement today with a consortium of buyers to sell our entire portfolio for a figure exceeding £250m. The consortium is foreign and not of any one specific nationality.

Prices for houses have been rising due to the shortage of available properties on the market, but steps have been taken to ensure the property prices in Ashford, Maidstone and Folkestone are not adversely affected and that the sale would make no difference to existing tenants.”

In his statement Mr Wilson also says whilst refering to himself in the third and first person true to his unconventional nature, “He is sorry to be giving up, but common sense must prevail. He is 67 years old and getting no younger.

Buy to let became an obsession for Fergus Wilson. He is a self-confessed BTL junkie. Each day I must have my daily fix. I look up prices and say to myself what a lucky man I am.

Owning BTL became a hobby for Fergus Wilson that simply got out of control. He says BTL is the national hobby and is followed by millions.

Whether you are a tenant or an owner occupier or indeed a BTL landlord you have an interest in the letting industry for letting industry is what it is.”

Mr Wilson caused controversy appearing in most of the national press during January 2014 when he confirmed that all his housing benefits tenants would be evicted. He sent eviction notices to over 200 of his tenants confirming he preferred eastern European migrants who defaulted less frequently than single mothers on welfare.

This decision to sell comes soon after the mortgage interest relief restrictions were announced in this Summer’s Budget.


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

11:43 AM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

I bet the Chancellor is rubbing his hands together in glee at this news.

Think of the CGT he will pay!

Why on earth didn't he become resident in a CGT tax haven before concluding this deal? He could have washed out all of his capital gains up to 5th April 2015. Maybe he did?


12:03 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

The reports I have read imply that a sale has been agreed but do not name the alleged successful bidder. My natural cynicism leads me to thinking this could be a publicity stunt with a view to attracting genuine interest.


12:04 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

A very sad day indeed, GO has completely failed in his task to help the FTB as not one got a look in on any of those properties.

Now the portfolio is owned by a "big enterprise" tenants can look forward to higher rents and possibly not so good maintenance.

Well done GO, now all the tax you would have had from a UK LL will go offshore to the international consortium.

GO needs to understand and undo the damage.

Neil Patterson View Profile

12:49 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Trendo " at "09/12/2015 - 12:04":

Worse still it looks like the ownership of these properties may have gone abroad!
Triple whammy.

money manager

12:59 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "09/12/2015 - 11:43":

For CGT it isn't quite easy as it used to be, one year in Brussels was a common trick if you could stand it; you now have to be non resident for five years to be fully exempt.

Do we know enoough about either how the Fregusons were structured or the nature of any deal?

On the other hand he may have decided that the 28% bird in the hand is possibly better than a potential 45% bird in the bush; i wouldn't put anything past GO at the moment.

Graham Landlord

16:13 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

I have truly wondered in the past if the Governments' sudden full on attack on landlords is in some way a response to Mr Wilson, buying whole streets off plan and then wholesale evicting tenants. He stuck two fingers up to the government over HB. Did he get too big for his boots and we are all now paying?

I am pleased he is selling to overseas investors, what we really need is for the whole housing rental market to go t*ts up. I suspect that overseas investors can claim the tax back in their own country when resident Landlords can't.
Nothing would make me smile more than billons of HB money being sent overseas, where the Landlords spend it in their own country.
In history, the UK has been invaded and made tenants to overseas landlords, Romans, Danes and Normans, seems it is happening again but by stealth now!

steve p

19:24 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

He may have been controversial but you have to admire his forethought, its easy to look back and think I should have done that but to have the balls to actually do it at the time is something else.

I suspect having to deal with so many tenants and hearing every sob story under the sun would make anyone a bit hard and develop a pretty thick skin.

The government may have gain in the short term in CGT but they have not increased the supply to FTB's as they hoped, the money will go offshore and be done in a way to have minimal tax to the uk government, rent paid by tenants will go offshore instead of staying in the uk economy and future CGT will probably be avoided. Nice one George, you have grabbed at another (cash)cow but unfortunately you left the gates wide open and 3 others have escaped.

I would love to see how much revenue the government gets from BTL now and how that changes over the next 5 yrs.

Mark Shine

21:10 PM, 9th December 2015, About 7 years ago

Changing to ‘Sort by Oldest’ on the comments section, some of them are quite amusing such as the below. Although as always, most of the comments appear to be from either (1) non –incorporated & encumbered LLs or (2) the ‘intelligentsia’ (lol) from the HPC website who fell for Osborne’s ‘level the playing field' rhetoric.

• prester_john > Larry • 5 hours ago

‘The conversation continues.

Charles: I can't find out the property reference number because the property is in darkness. That's what I'm calling to report.
Call centre: Which property sir?
Charles: The upstairs one at Poole Close, Ruislip.
(long pause)
Call centre: What is property reference number plizz.

Eventually, Charles, you hang up, buy a torch, find the number and ring back.

Call centre: Electrician will be with you next Monday sir between 8 and 6.
Charles: That's FIVE DAYS! What the hell am I supposed to do?
Call centre: Pardon sir?
Charles: I said that's FIVE DAYS! What the hell am I supposed to do?
Call centre: In contract, it say all complaint dealt within four days if reported by 4pm.
Charles: But I did report it by 4pm as soon as I got back from my shift at Tesco. So you're a day late.
Call centre: Call starts from when property reference number given sir. So technically sir you are reporting problem tomorrow sir.
Charles: This is deranged. Why can't I be given a proper appointment? This means I'll have to book a day off work. I might not be able to get one, I'm really busy stacking the shelves at Christmas.
Call centre: In contract, sir it say all complaints dealt within four days if reported by 4pm sir.’

And another:
• ‘prester_john > prester_john • 5 hours ago

‘It goes on and gets worse.

In despair Charles goes and looks in Foxtons' window. He sees lots of other flats for let in Ruislip, but oddly enough, every single one is painted and carpeted in exactly the same colours as his current place. He goes inside.

Why is every rental flat you offer identical?" he demands.
"Because we are the exclusive Ruislip letting agent for Kam Yung Residentials 2015 (Europe) Pte," replies Darren the lettings agent.
"Well I want to rent from a different landlord," says Charles.
"You can't," says Darren.
"Why not?" demand Charles.
"Because there's only one landlord in Ruislip. And it's Kam Yung Residentials 2015 (Europe) Pte."
"Well, what about Eastcote?"
"The landlord in Eastcote is Beijing Trust Pte," explains Darren. "If you want to rent there you'll need to pay us another £1000 registration fee, because there's one fee per landlord. And by the way,Kam Yung Residentials won't give you a reference."
"Why not?" demands Charles.
"So nobody can steal their tenants," laughs Darren.’

Mark Shine

0:20 AM, 10th December 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Shine" at "09/12/2015 - 21:10":

Am not sure whether the Fergus Wilson portfolio disposal story is true or not, as media sometimes do misreport things, but if the above tenant 'Charles' had called me, the conversation may have gone something like this:

The phone rings at 10.47pm on a Wednesday night...
Charles: "The lights are not working, can you send someone round ASAP"
Me: "Hi Charles, actually I was just writing a text to you as 10 minutes ago I had a call from the lady who lives downstairs to you complaining about very loud party music coming from your flat and asking me to 'sort it' ASAP. Have you checked that a fuse has not tripped?"
Charles: "Eh?"

I then tell Charles where the fuses are located in his property. *Either* the issue is dealt with as well as me politely reminding him (again) to try and keep the noise down *or* it's not a fuse, so I then say:

Me: "Sorry about this, I'll get on to an electrician straight away and get back to you as soon as I can"
Charles: "OK thanks, but this is VERY urgent"

The call ends and I immediately send a message to John the electrician via text & email. Then follow up with a call to John at 8.30 am in the morning to and although he says he's very busy, he agrees to meet me at the property later that day to resolve the problem.

I'm not as convinced as MPs and the LL hate gang appear to be... that corporate LLs looking to take over the PRS will provide far better service to their customers.

Jon Pipllman

8:19 AM, 10th December 2015, About 7 years ago

If Fergus & Judith do get this transaction home and hosed, it will be a very significant event for them and BTL generally.

I wish them well with it.

I don't know if / when any more details will become public, but it would be interesting to see an announcement of some sort by the buyers in due course.

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