One of Britainâ€™s biggest buy-to-let landlords, Fergus Wilson, has listed his requirements of potential tenants. In a leaked email to one of his lettings agents, Evolution, Mr Wilson wrote: â€œNo coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.â€
When Mr Wilson was challenged about the ban, he said that he was: â€œgetting overloaded with coloured peopleâ€.
He explained: â€œIt is a problem with certain types of coloured people â€” those who consume curry â€” it sticks to the carpet.Â You have to get some chemical thing that takes the smell out. Â In extreme cases you have to replace the carpet.â€
Mr Wilson admitted instructing Evolution not to take â€œcolouredâ€ people.
The anti-racism group Hope Not Hate has called for prosecution, but police say he hasnâ€™t committed a criminal offence.Â However, racial discrimination does breach civil law and MrÂ Wilson could be sued by tenants or rightsâ€™ groups.
Roy Fever of Evolution has made a statement saying that the agency does not condone MrÂ Wilsonâ€™s comments.Â He said: â€œWe would never implement a policy like that.Â We put through anyone to the landlord and it is up to the landlord who they take on.â€
Mr Wilson has a history of causing offence and in January he banned pet owners, single mothers, battered wives and low income families from renting his properties â€“ as well as plumbers.
He has previously been quoted as saying: â€œWe have said nothing against lesbians and homosexuals or coloureds.Â As long as they can pay the rent.â€
Mr Wilson has refused to apologise for his comments and defended his actions, saying: â€œLike any business, we are consistently fine tuning.â€
Mr Wilson is said to be selling his property portfolio, thought to be worth Â£250 million.