The ease of electronic signature apps is becoming common among Landlords and Property Managers when it comes to documents.
However, it is important for Landlords/Property Managers to understand the legislative requirements around electronic signatures and to be aware that not every tenant has the capability or desire to participate in electronic signing. Not everyone has a printer or an email address, and not everyone is digitally savvy.
The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA), advises Landlords/Property Managers to speak with their tenants to ensure they agree to receive and sign electronically, or if they’d prefer to manually sign an agreement on paper.
It is a legal requirement for all tenancy or rooming agreements to be put in writing. The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (the Act) requires prospective tenants be given a copy of the proposed tenancy agreement before they are committed to the tenancy.
This means the tenant must receive a copy of the tenancy agreement before they sign or pay any money. This provides them with the opportunity to review the agreement, including any special terms or annexures, so they can make an informed decision before they sign.
The Act also states that the tenant has five days to sign and return a tenancy agreement to the Landlord/Property Manager, who then needs to ensure the tenant receives a fully signed copy of the final agreement within 14 days.
Tenants should ensure they read any documents the property manager/owner sends to them and check they have access to all pages of electronic documents.
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