Britain’s biggest landlord now only considers those who can provide a rent guarantee
It has recently come to light that Fergus Wilson, Britain’s biggest landlord, has banned “battered wives” from his properties because he does not want to risk ex-husbands or boyfriends returning to destroy his rental accommodation.
Wilson, who runs a lucrative property empire in Kent, has recently stated that he will no longer accept victims of domestic violence or angry partners as ‘jealous or angry partners typically cause damage by kicking down front doors and punching holes in the interior’. His latest “letting criteria” also bars plumbers from becoming tenants because he believes they rip him off when it comes to advice about repairs.
Wilson is well known for his controversial views, e.g.
Single parents, workers on low income or zero hours contracts, families with children, pet owners, smokers and single adults will also not be considered. Only those who are able to afford rent and can provide a rent guarantee are to be accepted for his properties this year.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Wilson, who works alongside his wife Judith, said the criteria, which he reissues every year, was “sensible” and the result of the “financial fine tuning of the business”.
He said he issued it to agents to predominantly ensure he didn’t waste the time or money of those who couldn’t get a rent guarantee for his properties because they did not earn enough.
“It is just economics,” he explained. “I live in the big bad world of reality, if I do not let properties and do not get the rent then I do not eat, I starve to death… it is the Government’s job to help poor people.”
On victims of domestic abuse, he insisted he felt sorry for the tenants, who typically pay their rent, but said he seldom gets the money back when damage is done to properties.
“It costs us money and we basically have all the trouble of putting it back together again,” he said. “You have the property empty for a couple of months if something like paint has been thrown around. If we don’t take battered wives, this doesn’t happen.”
Tenants who are plumbers, meanwhile, “come up with jobs that don’t need doing”, Mr Wilson said. “We have had a disproportionate amount ringing up and them saying ‘this needs doing, that needs doing and I’ll send you a bill’, and you think ‘Christ, they are having me on’.”
With welfare reform via Universal Credit, legislation to tackle illegal immigration (Right to Rent), more landlord licensing schemes being implemented and stories such as Landlord Fergus Wilson’s hitting the headlines; landlords and letting agents need to realise the severe implications if they continue to go about their business without the means of accurate and thorough tenant vetting tools.
Q. How can a landlord find out if an applicant tenant has fallen into rent arrears via a previous tenancy?
A. BY USING TENANT HISTORIES.
Q. How can a landlord find out if an applicant tenant has the right to reside in the UK?
A. BY USING BY USING PASSPORT, DRIVING LICENCE & ID CARD VERIFICATION.
Q. How can a landlord reduce anti-social behaviour and crime within the area that their property is situated which, in-turn, will prevent property damage as well as improve property values in that area?
A. BY USING TENANT HISTORIES.
Q. How can a landlord guarantee his rent and any future legal expenses?
A. BY USING RENT GUARANTEE INSURANCE.
Q. How can tenants save money on lettings fees, as well as highlighting how reliable they’ve been in the past with keeping up with rental payments?
A. BY USING THE ‘REFERENCING PASSPORT’.
Q. How can local authorities and housing associations help low income renters find new homes, who are in receipt of any type of benefits and may have CCJ’s, as well as keeping landlords happy that their rent is going to be guaranteed?
A. BY USING THE ARK PASSPORT.
Credit Referencing alone cannot reveal a tenant’s true rental history or character. And this is why robust consumer data via Equifax, the leading consumer insights expert, enhances real-time vetting via Tenant Histories to reduce the risks of fraud further.
How long have landlords been referencing for? 50 years? 100 years? WHO KNOWS!
What we do know is that every single one has either taken a bad tenant on or knows someone that has had a bad tenant. Those that have not yet experienced a bad tenant has nothing to do with using accurate tenant referencing but simply because they have been lucky. As the Tenant Referencing UK saying goes “Being a landlord is like playing Russian Roulette; if you haven’t had a bad tenant then the bullet is still in the chamber.”
Via ‘Lifestyle’ Network Referencing, the TR Group wants to remove all of the bullets from all of the chambers – but this can only be done by communicating properly with each other through the concept of “Real-Time” tenant referencing.