In announcing the sale, Wilson blames the difficulty in finding and retaining skilled maintenance staff to look after his portfolio. He says three key staff from Eastern Europe have left for jobs in Europe recently – although he is not sure whether or not this is due to Brexit.
Wilson suggests he will dispose of his portfolio gradually, rather than all in one go, as this is fairest to tenants, as well as likely to result in obtaining the best price.
“We shall try and do it through natural selection, selling properties as they empty as its the humane way.
“Ideally I’d like to sell the lot tomorrow, if somebody came and offered to buy them all for the right price and keep the tenants inside I’d accept.
“But generally you get the best price for empty properties, that’s the problem, there aren’t enough new houses for buyers.”
Wilson together with his wife Judith were believed, at one time, to be some of Britain’s biggest private residential landlords. Although they have slipped down the rankings in recent years the couple are still amongst the ‘top 1,000’ richest people in the UK according to The Sunday Times Rich List, with a fortune of around £140m.
This isn’t the first time, however, that Wilson has appeared to draw down the curtain on his empire. Back in 2015 he said he had sold his entire portfolio, at one time numbering around 1,000 properties, to a consortium of foreign investors for a figure exceeding £250m.