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Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

“Financial Freedom” or “Passive Income” via property. If you see these words, leave the room says LettingFocus.com

One of the nicest back handed compliments I get is the fact that when one searches for LettingFocus or David Lawrenson on Google one gets a load of sponsored ad results appearing at the top of the search results and down the side.
These sponsored links are usually slightly shaded in on the windows internet browser.
For those who are uninitiated in the black arts of search engines, what’s happened here is that other companies have bought google adwords for “David Lawrenson” and “LettingFocus.com” so that every time someone searches for those words on Google, that companies sponsored (advert) entry comes up too.
It will cost them X number of pence every time someone clicks on one of their entries.
There is nothing illegal about them doing this. Well, not unless one has trademarked one’s name, possibly.
These firms do it because they have no worthwhile content of their own on their sites, so have to piggy back off the likes of real experts.
Actually, it is all a bit of a waste of money for them as about 70% of people never click on sponored search results, preferring instead to click on results that have been earned on merit in the organic (non-paid for, non-sponsored) search engine results – where I come pretty near the top anyway for these search terms.
Actually I was quite pleased that even more of these duff property firms are trying to “bum” off the back of my name than they are for TV property personalities like Gary Mclausland or Sarah Beeney.
A real back handed compliment.
But I’m not alone. The names of other respected property people like Tessa Shepperson and Richard Bowser are similarly targeted by these guys who have bought google adwords for their names too.

Now, one of the enduring features of many of these companies is that they always have a teaser free course – available for a limited period only, natch.
And they are always giving out gifts allegedly worth £X thousand pounds – only available for the next few days, of course.
They often have a chap or lady with a smooth sales patter and good looks appearing on a video.
But most of all they promise you financial freedom with a passive property income within a few months just by going on their course.
So, no more daily grind to work to a boring job, getting stuck in traffic or under someones sweaty arm on the tube… become a property millionaire in a year, blah blah.
Just sit back, do nothing at all and watch the rent roll in.
Oh, and if anyone tells you it’s not that easy (i.e. real people like me, I guess) and that you are wasting time and your £6,000 signing up for their course, you should ignore them as people like me are negative and NOT TO BE LISTENED to.
I think the Moonies and the like used similar tactics.
Not all the companies that have paid for google adwords using my name do this, but a lot do.
For the record, I have no links with any of the companies who have paid for sponsored search results under my name or the term “LettingFocus”
And if you have lost money as a result of going with a property company like one of the ones I have described here and you would like it featured in the press, please let me know and we will pass it on to interested journalists in the press or on TV.
I’m David Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com - the property letting experts. Read Landlords Articles.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book - buy Landlords Book.
The new edition is for accidental and experienced landlords and is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on sale and rent back.
I’m an expert property writer and property speaker - and I run the well known landlords blog that you are reading now.
I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I provide general property letting advice and consulting to anyone looking to buy property for themselves or to let out. I can help private individuals with any aspect of buying property or buy to let.
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we are independent property investment advisors because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from these sources.
We simply give one to one unbiased advice and are often asked to evaluate other property investments.
Find out about some great deals we have arranged at our Landlords Links page.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week.
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Watch out for increased insurance premiums due to flooding risk says LettingFocus

Later this year, up to half a million households could see buildings insurance premiums shoot up by as much as a third when the government rolls out its new revised flood maps.
At the moment, the Environment Agency maps show about half a million houses face a high risk of flooding – which means a 1 in 75 chance of a flood in any given year.
The fear is that the new maps, which will now include floods caused by poor drainage, could increase the number of properties at risk to a million.

An Unsusal Agreement
Whilst the Association of British Insurers has bashed out an agreement with the government that their members will continue to cover existing customers in high-risk areas – this is an uneasy agreement because they will only cover as long as flood improvements are planned in an area.
In other words, there is a battle of wills going on here between government and the insurers!
Keep in mind that even where they do cover a property, insurers can still increase premiums or impose much higher levels of excess.
In effect, if your property falls into highest risk category you could find you are on what might as well be a blacklist. And you could find it hard to sell your property – after all no one likes to pay huge insurance premiums.

Read the Map
My advice is to check out the environment agency map carefully before you buy any property. Even if your property is only in a medium risk area, proceeed with caution before buying. It may be that your property is on a small hill which clearly makes the risk of flood minimal – after all the maps are not super accurate down to individual property level.
But do take care, this is a problem that will only get worse as the climate changes and flash floods become more commonplace.
About LettingFocus
If you need more advice on where to buy investment property ask me. I’m David Lawrenson from independent property investment experts www.LettingFocus.com
I’m the author of the landlords bible “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let” the UK’s top selling property title.
I’m an expert on property letting and a well known writer on buy to let and I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a property investment blog and run a landlord and tenant advice service.
I also work as a consultant helping banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services.
You can read more of my landlord blog and details of my networking, advice, property investors seminar programme at my website www.lettingfocus.com
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer independent property investment mentoring because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.
If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated at least twice a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

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