Using Electronic Signature

Using Electronic Signature

Hi, this is Tom Soane with a quick tip for any DIY or self-managing landlord to make sure that you get undeniable proof that you gave the right documents to the right tenants at the right time, you got the right documents signed at the right time, you collected the right information from the tenants at the right time, and you did everything you needed to do in due diligence, in checks, and compliance, and all the legal stuff.

I want to show you how to get proof that you did all of that perfectly, because the legal bit in lettings is huge right now. And this is a really easy way to make sure that if you ever end up in court, you can say to the judge: “Oh hey, I got it right. Look I did my part. I did it right perfectly” And all of these is to sign up for an electronic signature service. That sounds really easy. But let me tell you how you actually use it. And there are loads of electronic signature services out there. There’s E-sign, DocuSign, Panda docs, there loads. And they’re not actually that expensive, if you’re only doing an occasional contract or an occasional, they call them envelopes, I think? But anyway. They’re not actually that expensive.

So choose which one offers the right pricing plan for you and bare in mind they all kind of do the same thing. So it’s not actually to much of a difference if you choose one over the other. So go for the pricing, but also choose the one that has the easiest user interface, user system for you. Anyway, once you’ve got that you upload the appropriate documents into that system. So in your case, Mr. and Mrs. Landlord, you’re going to upload the right how to rent guide, you’re going to upload the EPC, the gas safety certificate, you’re going to upload the EICR the Electrical Installation Condition Report, and that’s just a give to the tenant. And then you’re going to upload your AST or Assured Shorthold Tenancy contract for them to sign and fill in. And that already pre-populated by the way, so you don’t need to meet anyone, you don’t need to go anywhere to sign up, you just need to send it to them. Because you’ve already done it, you send them the right to rent checks, so they fill in their right to rent checks and they can also reply with their documentation they need to provide. It’s madness! But either way it’s a way to make sure you get all the information to that tenant and you collect all the information from that tenant.

Now, once you’ve done that you hit send and that goes to the tenant. Now that is time-stamped. There’s no fooling these systems either. Those systems will track and note where the tenant opened it, on what device they opened it, and this system knows that it was definitely this tenant that did that, they know it was their email address using their phone or their laptop in their location. It knows. Well think about if you’re on your phone then your phone knows where you are at all times. So if there is ever a debate, then that system will be able to very quickly give you a certificate to say: “This was the person that signed it, they are who they say they are, and they followed the right procedures.” So it’s a real quick way, first of all to make sure that the tenant gets every document they’re supposed to get, so that you comply with the law, and it’s a way to make sure that the contracts are signed, the information is gathered. You then get that stored in your system. And that’s your part of the system. So you can access that at any time, you can print it out if you want, you can keep it in their system as storage if you want. Either way, it’s there for the good long-term. So outside of that if you ever then get into trouble where the tenant says: “I didn’t receive a how to rent guide, I didn’t receive the EPC (Which is big topic at the moment) or the gas safety certificate.” Then you can say to the judge: “Hey, look here you go. Here’s the proof.”

You can also get the tenant to then sign after it to confirm that you did the smoke alarm tests, that you can then prove to them that you’ve registered the deposit, you can send them to deposit registration certificate. Well they normally get one anyway, but you can send it to them too. Being just I guess diligent. And it’s a really quick and easy way to make sure you’re getting it right from the start.

So I hope that helps. And I did do that monster video that really in detail video of everything you need for every single tenancy, every single time. So check that out on my Facebook page Tom Soane. But until then. My name is Tom Soane and I am the Anonymous Landlord.