Britain's best-known private landlords have revealed that they are currently asking tenants on benefits to seek alternative accommodation and admitted that immigrants are often easier to deal with as “they work harder.”
Judith and Fergus Wilson, who shot to fame as “buy-to-let celebrities” a decade ago, said that they are no longer accepting tenants without work despite the fact that approximately 200 of their properties in Kent are currently let to individuals that receive benefits.
Mrs Wilson admitted that they are now favouring immigrant workers, as many Eastern Europeans are now able to rent privately after building a satisfactory credit record. She also revealed that rising rents had played a role in their decision, as housing benefits are no longer sufficient to cover monthly payments.
Mrs Wilson added that her responsible position as a landlord means it is often beneficial to ask out of work tenants to look elsewhere. She said: “Say someone on benefits is getting £500 allowance for a property where the rent is £600. It is wrong to encourage people to live in those circumstances, because it will put them at risk of getting into debt.”
The Wilsons, who grew a property empire worth as much as £100 million during the housing boom years of 2005-2007, also admitted that the “frightening” trend of using payday lenders to meet rent would only exacerbate the problem in the long term.
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