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Britain's biggest landlord launches appeal after losing 'damp row'

One of Britain's best-known landlords, Fergus Wilson, has launched an appeal after losing a case regarding a damp property.

The tenants, Attila Lant and Eva Nemeth, complained about their rental property being damp and uninhabitable.

Wilson inspected the property and alleged that the tenants had caused the damage.

Wilson, who owns a vast property portfolio with his wife, Judith, subsequently sued the tenants for failing to carry out repairs at the property.

This is despite the rental property's tenancy agreement allegedly having a clause which prohibited tenants from attempting repairs without the landlord's permission.

At a hearing earlier this month, Deputy District Judge Adams said that he could not understand why the leak was not fixed and concluded that the matter was the landlord’s responsibility to repair.

The tenants were awarded £2,500 in damages. 

According to Kent News, Wilson believes the court's decision to throw out his case was a 'legal error' and he is now launching an appeal against the decision.

The Wilsons, widely considered to be the UK's largest private landlords, announced at the end of 2015 that they were selling their £250 million portfolio in response to incoming tax changes introduced by former chancellor George Osborne,

A recent report in the Financial Times claimed the landlords have since sold around 400 of their 900-strong portfolio and expect to make a gross profit of around £200 million.

Wilson was quoted as saying that the time for the amateur landlord is 'over'.

“Is it the wrong time to be an amateur landlord? Yes. Some people will succeed but on the whole, too many amateurs walk into pitfalls," he said.  

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    The more I read about these cases the more I think we need judges who know about keeping buildings clean and functional. I do not know any thing about this case but from the view of a very well qualified onlooker the verdict is deeply suspicious. I am just about to start to get rid of a tenant who has let one of my properties get into , "a hell of a mess" with damp. I have lived in this property so I do know the truth but I do not suppose that will count for anything as all landlords are liars by common definition. The property is one of many in a large block which is well managed. There is absolutely no case that the flat is faulty. What we do know is that the tenants dry clothes in the small flat and have a young child there


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