I’m David Lawrenson, owner of property consultancy, LettingFocus.com.
I’m author of the UK’s highest selling property and buy to let book (the new Jan 2020 edition is available to order) as well as being a landlord, a buy to let expert and media commentator, consultant on private rent matters and landlord blogger.
Our main work is now our property consultancy. We help a range of organisations – from banks to local authorities – develop or improve their buy to let and landlord facing products and services. We also help them develop their strategy towards the private rented sector.
BACKGROUND IN PROPERTY INVESTMENT
I first let out property way back in the mid 1980s just after finishing my MBA at City University (now Cass) Business School. (Before that I went to schools in the Wirral and Dover and my first degree was at Cardiff University.)
In my early days as a property investor, I mixed being a landlord with working as a project manager and management consultant in financial services.
But my love of property investing finally won the day and in September 2002 I gave up the day job to concentrate on building and managing my property portfolio full time.
As a landlord and property investor I made some mistakes – this despite having had read quite a few books on the subject. So, I put down some ideas of my own which eventually led to a publisher offering me a contract to write a new book, which I called, “Successful Property Letting – How to Make Money in Buy to Let.”
ABOUT MY BOOKS
“Successful Property Letting” came out in September 2005 and in 3 months sold out its first print run and established itself as the fastest selling book on property in the UK. By the end of 2019, it had sold over 110,000 copies and it has been the UK’s highest selling property title for 12 years running. The current edition has been updated throughout to reflect all the changes in the private rented sector over the last two years.
In 2016, I published two other books. One is for landlords. It focuses on how to find great tenants and it is available now. It is called, “Landlords’ Guide to Finding Great Tenants”.
The other book is for tenants and is called, “Tenants’ Guide to Successful Renting”.
I am frequently quoted as a buy to let expert in all the UK national papers and leading websites and have appeared on radio and television.
I am also an occasional speaker on property matters at trade shows and for private companies and associations in the buy to let field.
These days, when not looking after my own portfolio of properties, I work mostly for organisations in both the public and private sectors who wish to launch, develop or improve their products and services for landlords and property investors.
CRITIC OF POOR PRACTICES
I am well known as a critic of bad buy to let advisors. Back in 1999, I warned that inner city flats were being sold to amateur buy to let investors at well above their long term value. I was also one of the first to warn of the dangers inherent in Sale and Rent Back and later, in Property Lease Options and Rent to Rent.
I am also critical of the buy to let lending policies and processes of many banks and building societies which too often fail to meet customers needs and I am unimpressed by councils expensive forays into setting up “social letting agencies” to attract private rented sector supply nor the quality of their services for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector. I am a critic of all-borough landlord licensing and of rent controls. In my opinion, these approaches are flawed.
In our consultancy work we help many such organisations to do it better.
Read our testimonials to see what organisations and private landlords say about us.
Whether you are from the media, an organisation seeking consulting help or if you are just a private individual needing advice, please get in touch.
Readers may want to also look at our Private Rented Sector Blog for more up to date news and comment.