Britain’s most controversial landlord, Fergus Wilson, says the recent changes in buy to let legislation means that if he was starting as a young investor, he would not enter the sector.
However Wilson insists that as the landlord of some 400 properties in Kent, which he owns with his wife, he will continue his business.
Until 2016 the Wilsons owned a reported 1,000 or so properties in the area, all purchased as buy to let units; the couple hit the headlines on a frequent basis not only because of the size of their portfolio but because of a range of controversial comments - some of which Fergus Wilson says were misinterpreted or wrongly reported.
However, around two years ago many of the couple’s properties were sold - “some to the Chinese, some to India” says Fergus Wilson - and the portfolio is now around 400 units.
“The sector was very good and we found we could expand it quite easily many years ago. Until 2000 we managed the properties ourselves and then bought in lettings agents because of the number of homes” he explains.
However, while he accepted the various fiscal and regulation changes introduced in recent years, he says the current government is hell-bent on hammering buy to let investors.
“The government now obviously wants the sector to be run by companies and institutions, and it’s making life very hard for individual investors. I operate with the cards I’ve been dealt so I’m staying in the sector - but I wouldn’t have gone into it originally like it is now.”
Wilson, who is 70 next month, is now expanding his investments in other directions - he says he has land large enough for 800 new homes.