Fergus Wilson said lack of rent guarantee cover for housing benefits tenants behind the move

Britain’s largest buy-to-let property empire has sent eviction notices to all its tenants on benefits, citing difficulties gaining insurance, the Guardian reports.

Fergus Wilson said he was unable to get rent guarantee insurance for tenants on housing benefits and had therefore decided to withdraw from offering lets to those claiming welfare, putting 200 tenants at risk of eviction.

Wilson said: “Rents have gone north, and benefit levels south. The gap is such that I have taken the decision to withdraw from taking tenants on housing benefit. From what I can gather just about all other landlords have done the same. Our situation is that not one of our working tenants is in arrears – all those in arrears are on housing benefit.”

“With tenants on benefits the number of defaulters outnumbers the ones who pay on time,” he added.

Recent figures from the National Landlords’ Association published in December show that only one in five private landlords now let to individuals claiming benefits – a decrease of 50%.