AST’s signed on line – how do you make that work?

by Readers Question

8:17 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

AST’s signed on line – how do you make that work?

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AST’s signed on line – how do you make that work?

Hi there, Does anyone have experience of ‘digital signatures’ to share?

I am using the latest PIM’s AST agreement for 2 new student house tenancies due to start on 01 July 2019 which encompasses the most up-to-date legislation.

It’s one agreement for the new household of friends coming out of halls. I have two of them to sort. The necessary lengthy agreement includes the 4 guarantors who need to sign into it as well as the 4 students themselves.

The 4 guarantors are at all points of the compass and not all students will move in on 01 July. It follows that not all 4 guarantors, if any, will be there in person on move in day to sign up then.

I have no experience at all of ‘signing online’/’digital signatures’ so I am asking how I can propose getting the signing done by all the parties to the agreement before the new tenancy start date.

As 01 July is a Monday, I need to achieve having all the signatures by Friday, 28 June.

I can’t be the only landlord in this situation – so thanks everyone who can share any solution you can offer!

Lord



Comments

Mark Alexander

9:03 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

DocuSign is a system used these days by letting many agents and even some finance companies. It's the only one I have experience of but I believe it is an industry leader and I rate it highly.

Please see https://www.docusign.com/

Freda Blogs

9:42 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I use Signable, for exactly the purpose that you need it, and it is perfect because getting students together to sign documentation, and also getting their guarantors to sign can be a logistical nightmare!
They also have a very good customer service, very friendly and prompt. I haven’t tried any of the others – but then I have never needed to because Signable is so good. I should be on commission!

Dancinglandlord

10:04 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

We used docusign for all of our student tenants and we included any parents who needed to sign too. It was a very effective system - especially for tenants who were abroad when they needed to sign. We also use GOCARDLESS to collect rents by direct debit. Their fees are reasonable and it integrates with Sage to make life easy processing rents and deposits.

Mark Alexander

10:07 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dancinglandlord at 05/06/2019 - 10:04
I agree with your recommendation for GoCardless for Direct debiting. It's a very easy system to use, no merchant account required and the pricing is reasonable. If a Direct Debit fails you are notified and the customer gets bank charges. GoCardless then try to collect again in a few days. If the mandate is cancelled you are also informed. none of the above is possible with a Standing Order based system, so far more time is required to reconcile and chase payments without a system such as GoCardless.

bob young

10:19 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I don't like the idea of digital signing because I like my tenants to read a draft agreement well in advance and raise queries if necessary. People tend to sign digital agreements without reading them and so if at a later date they want to get out of a tenancy they could argue they hadn't noticed something they regard as unfavourable to them. Afterall, judges always give tenants the benefit of doubt.
I might add that I live abroad about 8000 mile from the UK so I favour signed paper agreements that are scanned and emailed.

Mark Alexander

10:20 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by bob young at 05/06/2019 - 10:19
You can do that as well

SimonR

10:45 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

We have just started to use Docusign and so far so good, if its good enough for large banks and insurance companies to use then hey who am I to argue.
I have found it save me a lot of time on move in day as well.
Not sure if they have a PAYG option but the service is around £150pa also your agreement will need to be formatted to create the various signature boxes

Jireh Homes

10:51 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

In Scotland with the new (Dec 2017) PRT no signatures are required, as email acknowledgement is legally accepted. This resulted from a change in the Law but many Agents and Landlords still request a "hard" signature (wet signed or scan copy).

SamJonesSMS

10:57 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I have always used Signable for student tenancies.

Essentially you add the tenants and guarantors details in the contacts section, then load your agreement to the website and move the "Sign here" and "date here" boxes into the relevant places on said tenancy (it takes a little working out at first, but makes complete sense when you figure it out).

When you send it out, it sends to the first person to sign, and email reminders are sent periodically (you can change this to remind them daily, every three days etc...).

Once the first person has signed, it is sent to the next person and so on, until all parties have signed. Once all parties have signed, Signable then email a fully signed copy to all parties of the tenancy.

At any stage you can log in and it gives automated updates on where the signatures are up to (i.e. who is holding up the signing, and how many times they have been reminded, so you can chase the relevant person, rather than the whole party).

Hope this helps/makes sense!

LordOf TheManor

19:54 PM, 5th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Hi there

Thank you everyone for your very kind input! What a tremendous help you've been.

Special thanks to Sam Jones for providing the 'Janet&John version' (aka simple explanation!) on getting going with Signable. I'm right on it with their 'how to' video guides and chat botts.

I'm glad they do PAYG because I won't need this facility regularly. All my rentals are within a 3 mile radius of my home and the students I take from halls tend to stay til they graduate. Both houses change-over this year after 2 and 3 year tenancies and the world as I knew it last time round doesn't work now, hence the post.

I feel much more up to speed now! I'm extremely grateful to have the 118's community input, so thank you all once again.

I'm a very happy.....

Lord of the Manor

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