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Buy-to-let magnates to sell 1,000-property empire

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Buy-to-let magnates to sell 1,000-property empire

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

Buy-to-let magnates to sell 1,000-property empire Buy-to-let magnates to sell 1,000-property empire

Britain's biggest buy-to-let property landlords have announced plans to sell their entire property empire.

It is thought that Fergus and Judith Wilson, who own nearly 1,000 homes in Kent, will reap around £100 million from the sell-off.

Never too far from the headlines, the former maths teachers caused outrage earlier this year when they evicted hundreds of their tenants that were in receipt of housing benefit.

Explaining the move at the time, Fergus Wilson (pictured) said the decision was based on benefit claimants’ ability to pay their rent, adding that he preferred to have eastern European tenants in his homes.

In an email to the Guardian, Mr Wilson said that he had decided to sell his empire because "the market has recovered and passed the 2007 level".

The landlord, who was found guilty of assaulting an estate agent in April, said that people currently in his properties will have their tenancies protected, with contracts switched to the hands of whoever buys the homes.

Mr Wilson wasn't specific about who might buy his properties. In his email, he wrote: "Is it China Money, Indian Money, Saudi Money? We will see. I am sure there will be much interest. It has been going on for just over three months and another three to run. I would like it to end up in English hands but it is a case of who will pay top dollar!"

The Wilsons have a history of bungled legal disputes.

Mr Wilson was found guilty of using a mobile while driving in 2008, after a court rejected his claim that he was actually singing in to a drinks carton.

Also in 2008, Mrs Wilson tried to charge two of her tenants £3,000 to replace a broken toilet. A judge subsequently threw out the claim, branding it "exaggerated".

Last year, the Wilsons lost out in a legal dispute with a gas engineer who had issued an 'At Risk' notice at one of the landlords' properties, after they sent him a summons demanding £5,000 in lost rent.

And in April, Mr Wilson was found guilty of punching estate agent Daniel Wells during a dispute about a boiler, and fined £1,650.

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