A buy-to-let agent who has owned more than 1,000 properties secretly banned “coloured” people from renting his homes.
Fergus Wilson, a millionaire often described as “Britain’s biggest landlord”, issued the demand in a leaked email to letting agents Evolution.
In a note seen by The Sun, one requirement for potential tenants said: “No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.”
An unrepentant Mr Wilson, 70, who mostly owns properties in Kent, refused to apologise after being challenged about his remarks.
“To be honest, we’re getting overloaded with coloured people,” he told the tabloid.
“It is a problem with certain types of coloured people — those who consume curry — it sticks to the carpet.
“You have to get some chemical thing that takes the smell out. In extreme cases you have to replace the carpet.”
When asked if he had told Evolution not to take “coloured” people, Mr Wilson said: “Certainly at one point we have.”
Roy Fever, manager at Evolution Properties, said: “We don’t condone this at all.
“We would never implement a policy like that. We put through anyone to the landlord and it is up to the landlord who they take on.”
A spokesperson for Hope Not Hate said: “You simply cannot treat people like this and deny them a place to live due to their skin colour.
“This is the unacceptable face of the housing crisis. There is something broken in the system when such a powerful figure can get away with such an appalling policy. Fergus Wilson’s comments would seem laughably offensive, a throwback to the Alf Garnett era, if they weren’t so serious in their implication.
“Mr Wilson should face the full legal implications of his actions. We’d encourage the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate further as a matter of urgency.”
This is not the first time Wilson, who is believed to have sold much of his property portfolio, has provoked ire.
In January, he claimed he had banned single mums and victims of domestic abuse from renting his properties.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said it was because their partners cause damage to the property.
“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.”
In January 2014, Wilson sent eviction notices to every tenant that received housing benefit and alerted letting agents that he would no longer accept tenants who require housing benefit. At least 200 people were evicted.