Shock call to agents: “Wear a body camera when you meet tenants”
The controversial landlord Fergus Wilson says he has purchased a Body Worn Camera for £75 in a bid to avoid at least some future disputes with tenants – and he advises agents to do the same.
“Police officers have BWV and always say as they arrive ‘I have my Body Worn Camera switched on is that alright?’ Hence I shall say that” says Wilson, whose buy to let empire in Kent once extended to some 1,000 units and is now throught to be around 400 properties, mostly co-owned with his wife Judith.
Fergus Wilson says: “Very recently I have had a tenant say that I told him to have new carpets fitted throughout the house and I would pay for them. I never said anything of the sort! Absolute rubbish!”
He says that with a BWV there is no doubt about what was said and it can be relied upon if the matter proceeds to court.
“I have to be particularly concerned about female staff in letting agencies I use. I am particularly mindful of the Suzy Lamplugh case. There have been threats to staff and a BWV is an essential piece of kit these days in my view” he continues.
Next month Judith Wilson is to be sentenced after failing to comply with an enforcement notice ordering her to supply hot water to a disabled tenant.
In addition, she has been ordered to show the court details of the bank accounts and assets held by her and her husband.
Judith Wilson denied the charge but was found guilty at the end of a two-day hearing at Folkestone Magistrates Court.
The prosecution case centred on an allegation that Wilson was the owner of a tenanted property in the town which had ongoing problems with its hot water and heating system; this led to the council serving an enforcement notice requiring that the defects be remedied.
In her defence, Wilson claimed she had “a reasonable excuse” for failing to comply with the notice – namely that the damage to the boiler and heating system was caused by the tenants or their agents; that she was not permitted access to the premises; she had insufficient time to complete the work; and she reasonably relied on the council to carry out the repair itself.