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

by Readers Question

8:17 AM, 5th June 2019
About 2 years 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


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Comments

Yvette Newbury

8:08 AM, 6th June 2019
About 2 years ago

I've used many different e-signatures to trial them all and am presently using Digisign. I ensure I keep the tenancy trail printout that comes with the document that shows when a particular tenant has opened, signed the document etc and this acts as a 'witness' to the signature as it can only be that person who has opened it at their email address. Digisign offers 3 free e-signatures a month and we only have a small portfolio that's as many as we need, so use this for free. Can't fault it!

OH

9:04 AM, 8th June 2019
About 2 years ago

I use Signable and find it suitable for my requirements. The PAYG option was the determining factor for me. At £1.00 per document (regardless of how many parties are to sign) it is very affordable and much less than what it would cost in time/petrol etc.
Some members mentioned using a digital signature for guarantors, however, a guarantee agreement needs to be signed as a deed (?), meaning that it has to be witnessed.
How would you overcome that with a digital signature?
My practice is to get the tenant to sign digitally with the guarantor being only a recipient of document (this option is available with Signable). I post the guarantee agreement (with all other relevant docs) to the guarantor which they need to sign in the presence of a witness and return to me.
It may be that a guarantee agreement that is signed digitally serve its purposes i.e. put a burden on the guarantor to make sure that the tenant performs. However, my concern is that the guarantee agreement (signed without being witnessed) will be worth nothing if ever have to be challenged in court.
Any thoughts?

OH

9:21 AM, 8th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Further to my previous comment, the following link discuss the issue of witnessing an electronic signature when, for example, a document needs to be executed as a deed.

It talks about witnessing via a web cam or being logged into the same platform through a different computer.

I am not sure whether any of the services mentioned offer such a service for witnessing a signature.

https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/electronic-signatures-are-valid-say-governments-legal-experts/

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LordOf TheManor

14:07 PM, 8th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Disappointed after spending hours on Signable.... I can't make it work. My downloaded document becomes too small to edit and the screen pop ups keep over-riding the boxes I'm trying to fill. Can't waste any more time on it.

Anyway as Oren has pointed out, digital signing is no good where you need a witness to countersign + print their name, address and date.

I'm going to have to resort to emailing the 4 guarantor parties to each sign their bit and then make a master copy with four separate signature pages.

I've tried my best but for digital signing... it's a no from me. Ugh!!!!

OH

18:47 PM, 8th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 08/06/2019 - 14:07
Signable is not difficult to use. If you're having difficulties contact them via the chat facility or phone, they are helpful.

The way I do it is to:

1) Create the document using Word etc. and then print (or export) it as PDF.

2) On Signable create a new envelope and upload your PDF file (I haven't had the time to experiment with templates on Signable).

3) Follow the process as prompt by the Signable platform.

With regards to the guarantors, I prefer to print all documents and sending it 1st class by post. I also send a self addressed envelope for them to send it back to me (even if it is likely to be handed back by the tenant).

I don't like paper and try to be as near as possible to running a paperless home office but when it comes to guarantors I can't see any other way than using the good old Royal Mail.

I rather be proactive and print everything for the guarantor than rely on them printing and going out of their way to by a stamp.

.

LordOf TheManor

19:34 PM, 8th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Oren Harkavi at 08/06/2019 - 18:47
Thank you, Oren.....

But if you still have to send them postal copies to complete, what is the real use of Signable?

They're closed on Saturdays, so no help today even with chat bots. I have other fish to fry tomorrow, so I can't give them any more desk time.

I've given up with Signature. I concluded any prospect of dealing with them earlier today.

I've emailed guarantors now and provided clear instructions on how I would like them to return the information to me. If I don't get what I've requested prior to tenancy commencement, it means no keys go out on 01 July.

My bandwidth on anything digital to do with signing a multi-party document has been well and truly exhausted!

Lord

SignableHelp

10:37 AM, 10th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 08/06/2019 - 19:34
Hiya,

We're sorry to hear this and we'd be happy to help you get set up with using Signable. With regards to the pop-ups, I will ensure this feedback is passed on to the wider development team as they are always looking at ways in which the product can be improved. Feel free to give us a shout (either on help@signable.co.uk or 08006126263) and we can get you started. If you need a bit longer on the free trial, we can extend this for you too.

Thanks Sam, Freda and Oren for the recommends. We really appreciate it!

Mark Alexander

11:03 AM, 10th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by SignableHelp at 10/06/2019 - 10:37
Hi Anna

We don't usually allow comments to be posted which include contact details, especially where they are promotional. However, given that Signable has agreed to a 'contra deal', whereby you will add an article to your website about our tax planning service for property business owners, and also given that we do not have another sponsor offering the same services as Signable, we have made a commercial decision in this instance to approve you comment without amendment.

Our 'House Rules' can be found via the link below.

https://www.property118.com/house-rules-business-sponsorship/

OH

16:44 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by SignableHelp at 10/06/2019 - 10:37
Are you able to comment on the issue of having a signature witnessed? Are there any developments in that area?

Thanks.

LordOf TheManor

19:32 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Oren Harkavi at 10/06/2019 - 16:44
My thoughts, entirely, so thanks for asking that, Oren!
Without that missing piece of vital information, I have no reason to revisit the subject of online signing.

I only need this facility occassionally for my two student houses that change-over every 2 or 3 years. So it's a serious no-go for this year.... and with the all the recent legislation changes going against us landlords, now is not the time to be experimenting with distant 'easy' signing arrangements for the ease of the tenants' guarantors.

However I don't object to getting my head around how this could work .... sometime in the future. It's just that the window of opportunity for use this month has expired and I'm short of brainspace to allocate it any further attention atm.

Lord

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