Big step towards e-sign for witnesses
2 November 2018
In a big win for the property services industry, the Conveyancing Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) will allow residential tenancy agreements (and other contracts and deeds) to be signed and witnessed electronically.

Currently the Electronic Transactions Regulation 2017 (NSW) prevents electronic witnessing of documents. If passed without amendment, the Bill will enable witnesses to electronically sign documents.

Introduced into NSW Parliament by the Upper House (Legislative Council) on 17 October 2018, the Bill is now with the Lower House (Legislative Assembly) after it passed the Upper House without amendment. The provisions in the Bill that enable witnesses to electronically sign documents will be effective once the Bill is passed and has been assented to by the Governor.
 
Moving with the times

“Times are changing, and technology is playing a more pivotal role in the property services industry,” says REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin. 

“REINSW has been vocal on this issue for many years, and it’s great to see Government has finally taken the step forward.”

Michelle McLean, Senior Property Advisor at Leah Jay, says electronic signing will simplify the process of finalising residential tenancy agreements.

“Permitting electronic signing of the residential tenancy agreement is integral in operating efficiently and effectively in today’s technologically-reliant environment,” she says.

“It will bring the property services industry in-line with other industries embracing technology and streamline business practices. If this Bill is passed it will improve our service offering to landlords and tenants alike.”

Wins for property managers

With digital forms and agreements, and digital signing platforms – such as REI Forms Live and DocuSign – at the ready, property managers across NSW will have the ability to develop, communicate and finalise residential tenancy agreements digitally. 

“This is good for agents, landlords and tenants,” says McKibbin. “We have lobbied hard for this win and we are proud that we can provide the tools property professionals need to take advantage of the efficiencies this Bill will enable when passed.”
 
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