Series 4, Episode 7
Hosted: 07/07/2021 06:45:00 pm
A lot of our time here at LNPG HQ is spent scouring the property market for the best partners to bolster our membership – but one obvious benefit has always been hard to nail down.
We’re sure thousands of landlords will have a story to tell about their experiences with property solicitors – and let’s be honest some are absolutely fantastic while others leave a lot to be desired – and we wanted to be sure that our members would be looked after by whoever it was that took up the mantle on our behalf.
Enter Erika Moralez-Perez, a landlord herself and founder of Virtual In-House Solicitor (VIHS), whose goal has always been to change the world’s view of lawyers, one client at a time.
Sounds promising doesn’t it? Watch the full webinar with Erika above or keep reading to speed through the some of the key points from our conversation.
A Different Kind of Solicitor
It’s easy to say all the right things to impress but backing this up when the pressure’s on is a different matter.
And we could never expect our members to use something we’d not tried out ourselves beforehand – so we’ve personally put Erika and her team through their paces, and we’ve got to say, we’re impressed.
With many solicitor firms, it can be difficult to speak to a real lawyer without having to navigate around the secretary or various paralegals, and the reality is no matter how good these people can be, if the solicitor’s rubber stamp gets too far away from your case, your project is at risk of slowing down as soon as you start to put your foot on the gas.
So, if this is such a problem, why can’t we just speak to the solicitor directly? That’s what Erika’s decided at least, and this principle of direct, jargon-free communication has been built into VIHS from the ground up.
The Important Bit
Service and communication are important of course – but what you want to know is what VIHS can do for you. Fortunately, Erika had that covered too, along with a few increasingly dicey football puns to boot:
Though it’s often sold as a method of obtaining passive income, a landlord’s obligations to their tenants are so important – and the consequences for failing to meet these obligations can include fines, lawsuits, and even jailtime for the most severe offences.
This means we as landlords must be provide a safe living space, including points such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detector, gas safety certificates, and close around 150 other obligations before we can even let a tenant in the door.
It puts you in good stead, therefore, to have someone to lean on in times of crisis to ensure you are staying on the right side of the law and to argue your case when you need additional support.
Whether it’s one property in your portfolio or one thousand, you need to know the agreements you’ve made are as strong on paper as they are in spirit.
That means getting the right people equipped to iron out the dodgy creases, caveats and confounding loopholes from the documentation that keeps you and your income safe as a professional landlord.
Yes, we’re talking about your tenancy contracts, and whether it’s a bog-standard AST, a complicated rent-to-rent-to-rent quintuple partnership agreement, the reality is you want it to be absolutely watertight.
Cash is King
Success is what you make of it – but no-one in this business would put cash-flow at the bottom of their priority list.
Managing and migrating financial risk as a landlord is a staple of not only being successful but staying successful. And a key part of maintaining this momentum is by relying on a team to do what you can’t do.
That means in this case finding a solicitor to help organise your cash flow and manage your financial risk; the one thing you don’t want to do as a landlord is to throw good money at bad money and cases of landlords spending hundreds on legal proceedings to not even get money owed is a lose-lose situation. The VIHS can guide you on the best practices to follow to make sure your capital is not at risk.
The final pillar of Erika’s Landlord’s Guide to Legal Advice is often the most understated – but the difference between a landlord in control, and a landlord out of control is staggering.
You need to build your business on processes and procedures that can’t fail even when you’re not around. It’s the first step of adequate growth and allows for more than just the delegation of key tasks, but the reward of getting your free time back to boot.
Imagine that – free time again!
From a legal perspective, this is the paperwork from the agreement, inspections, and termination of the contract all needs to be within the legal boundaries to help protect you and your property portfolio, but you already knew that.