Controversial Kent landlord Fergus Wilson has revealed some of the secrets of his success in an interview with a local newspaper.
In the interview Wilson attributes his success to – amongst other more colourful things – subletting which allowed him to live rent free at one stage, having an ‘inflation proof’ job in teaching, and what he calls ‘land sniffing’ – by which he seems to mean buying up land that appears to be a good buy on a speculative basis.
Wilson also says, perhaps with an eye to what is happening right now, that property investors need to take advantage of slumps in the property market. He also suggests that politicians’ inability to provide adequate housing supply to meet demand continues to prove an opportunity for investors.
He says: “For the housing crisis the country needs three million homes and I believe house building should be taken out the hands of politicians. There should be a non-political body in charge of house building and they will have to throw a lot of money at it.”
Wilson, together with his wife Judith, is believed to have owned around 1,000 rental properties at one stage. He is frequently portrayed as the unacceptable face of property investing in the media. However, behind the public image, the interview reveals some positive strategies such as frugal living, income from a steady day job, the ability to sniff out deals and move when opportunity knocks that all would-be property moguls might learn from.