Are electronic signatures legally acceptable for leases?
Electronic signatures are generally legally acceptable for leases. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act makes electronic signatures on contracts, including leases, legally valid. State laws and court cases have also validated electronic signatures and provide additional guidelines for signature collection.
Under the law, signing electronically is the same as signing with a pen. There could be challenges to a signature's validity, but, for the most part, these challenges are the same for penned signatures as they are for electronic signatures. For example, there may be identity verification requirements to validate an electronic signature in the event of a lease dispute. The person wanting the lease validated may need to prove that the document was properly signed and not altered. This would be similar to a dispute over whether a paper lease was properly signed or altered.
What are the advantages of a electronically signed rental agreement?
There are many advantages to using Rocket Lawyer for your electronically signed rental agreements.
- Save time and money: No more printing costs and the inconvenience of in-person lease signings.
- Fill vacancies faster: Switching to online documentation and signatures will help you fill vacancies faster. Once a prospective tenant completes a tour and application, you can send an electronic lease for an overnight signature. This keeps you from losing them if they find something else before you can meet up to get the lease signed.
- Create less paperwork: Leases can be long and require a copy for each party. Across all of your units, printing out leases is a lot of wasted trees and costly paper. Go green, so you don't see red.
- Customize with ease: With paper leases, you may need to remember which addenda to pull out and which boxes to check. An electronic leasing application can automatically assemble the right information by guiding you through a series of questions.
- Make renewals faster and easier: When it's time to renew the lease, just update any terms such as monthly rent, and send it to your tenant so they can sign on for another year.
What are the disadvantages of getting lease agreements electronically signed?
There aren't many disadvantages to getting a lease electronically signed. Some tenants may attempt to challenge the validity of their electronic signature, but using a vetted signing process, such as the one incorporated into RocketSign, helps to secure the validity of all electronic signatures on the document.
Some tenants may not be comfortable with a electronic signature or using your preferred software. But as electronic signatures proliferate, as they have during the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the reluctance will fall away over time as it becomes common to see them in all areas of our lives. If a tenant is hesitant, you may want to walk them through the process. Switching to customizable online documentation with electronic signatures is more efficient and convenient for both landlords and tenants.
Rocket Lawyer Has Everything You Need To Rent Confidently
If you want to use electronic signatures for leases, an existing signature service such as RocketSign has everything you need. Rocket Lawyer provides customizable landlord documents (including Residential Lease Agreements), cloud storage, electronic signatures, and affordable legal assistance from Rocket Lawyer network attorneys to help you rent confidently.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.