Fergus Wilson, who is described as one of "UK's biggest buy-to-let landlords", has instructed his agents not to let properties to "coloured" people because of the curry smell which they leave behind.
The 69-year-old, who owns around 1,000 homes in the Ashford and Maidstone areas, sent an email to his agents which said, "No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy."
Wilson told The Sun, "To be honest, we're getting overloaded with coloured people." "It is a problem with certain types of coloured people — those who consume curry — it sticks to the carpet," he said. "You have to get some chemical thing that takes the smell out. In extreme cases you have to replace the carpet."
Despite the backlash against his offensive instruction, Wilson has refused to apologize, insisting that he is not a racist but his instruction is a sound economic decision. The landlord told Sky News that he won't rent to Indians because he lost £12,000 in rent and re-carpeting costs trying to get the curry smell out of one of his properties.
Wilson said that he would rent to "negroes" because "they haven't generated a curry smell at the end of the tenancy". "If you want to sell your house to a market mainly composed of white British purchasers, then you considerably reduce your chances of selling by having a house that smells of curry," he said.
Equality groups are investigating whether Wilson can be prosecuted. The Sun pointed out that the police cannot prosecute Wislon because he has not broken any criminal laws, but tenants or tenants' rights group can sue him for a civil law breach.
"As a country we all assume we have left the dark ages behind, but clearly there is more to be done. We will investigate and will be asking Mr Wilson to explain his actions. Unless we are satisfied that he will not commit unlawful acts in the future we will take legal action," Rebecca Hilsenrath, the chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the Guardian.
Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate told The Sun, "You simply cannot treat people like this and deny them a place to live due to their skin colour." "If people such as this man continue to choose tenants on the basis of ethnicity he should face the full force of the law," it said.
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