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UK landlord bans Indian, Pak tenants due to curry smells

Picture Courtesy: DC

London: Legal actions are being taken after a 69-year-old Britisher banned Indians and Pakistanis from renting his properties. He had instructed his agents to not let them rent his properties due to the cooking smells from their kitchens, UK’s human rights watchdog said on Wednesday.

As per a report by DC, Fergus Wilson is one of the UK’s biggest buy-to-let landlords. The UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed that it had applied for an injunction against Wilson at the Central London County Court.

“We have asked the court if it agrees with us that Wilson’s lettings policy contains unlawful criteria and if so, to issue an injunction,” said Rebecca Hilsenrath, EHRC chief.

“As this is now formal legal action we will release further information at a later date,” she said. On the other hand, Wilson was defiant over his allegation and said he has to spend more on the carpets as they smell like curries, tenants leave.

“Given that I have not had any Indian or Pakistani person apply for a house during the past five years, I am not sure what the EHRC seeks to achieve,” he said. “It is not the colour of their skin, but the smell of the curry. A person is quite entitled not to purchase a house that smells of curry but to purchase the house next door which does not smell of curry. The EHRC appears to be saying that the purchaser then must let the house to someone who does cook curry,” he added.

The former boxer’s properties include around 1,000 homes in the Ashford and Maidstone areas of south-east England, who denied being racist. “There has been much support for the stance I have taken. I do not apologise for it. Faced with the same circumstances, I would do it again,” he told.

The EHRC had asked Wilson a written statement, that he would not refuse to let a property based on race, colour, nationality or national origins.

It would now begin an investigation into his policy on women as it emerged his lettings criteria also covers a ban on single parents, “battered wives”, parents with children under 18, EHRC had said

As per the UK’s Citizens Advice Bureau, refusing to rent or let a property based on race is unlawful. His stand had emerged as an email to his agents was leaked to the media earlier this year, which reads:”No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.”