Technology has changed our lives and the way we do business. The real estate sector is line with this swift and many companies in the sector already apply technological innovations to improve their life. In this post we want to talk about one of the aspects of the digital transformation of real estate agencies: signing lease agreements online

The transformation of the real estate sector is already a reality and there is a significant impact due to COVID-19 on some segments of real estate market such as that of offices, hotels or retail, and how others have been favoured such as data centres, logistics, communication towers and rental housing.

This calls for a radical change in real estate agencies if they want to continue competing and a commitment to digital transformation in several aspects:

Internally, digital transformation can be applied through the digitization of documents, cloud storage, process automation or teleworking.

Can you sign a rental agreement with an electronic signature?

The rental housing market, commercial premises, offices, and warehouses is moving fast, so it is necessary to be agile when signing, but do you really need to bring the two parties to the contract together in the same place to sign? Can you sign the contract with an electronic signature? The answer rests in the applicable regulations:

Spain`s tenancy Act (LAU) The tenancy contract shall be concluded in writing or orally. Nevertheless, either party may compel the other to conclude the contract in writing. Typically for this type of contracts, they are formalized in writing so that there is written proof of the agreements reached by the parties.

eIDAS Regulation. The eIDAS Regulation defines three types of signatures: the simple electronic signature, the advanced electronic signature, and the qualified electronic signature. The difference between the three lies in the level of security they provide. For a rental contract it is advisable to use an advanced electronic signature, which will be the one that meets the following requirements regulated in article 26 of the Regulation:

  • It is uniquely linked to the signer
  • It is capable of identifying the signer.
  • It is created using electronic signature creation data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control; and
  • It is linked to the data signed therewith in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.

As a consequence of the above, it is possible to sign a rental contract with an electronic signature.

Advantages of the electronic signature in rental contracts

Signing a rental contract electronically gives clear advantages:

  • Avoid the risk of having an empty house long time between the departing tenant and a new one, so that the landlord does not lose money.
  • The landlord, the tenant and the agent satisfaction who manage the rental operation increases because the process is easy, fast and can be done from anywhere and at any time and using the computer, mobile or tablet.
  • The online signature process can be tracked, so that it is possible to know who is signing and who is not.

The contract can contain dynamic fields for the parties to fill in before signing.

What other uses can real estate agencies have for electronic signatures?

Real estate agencies can use the electronic signature on a multitude of internal and external documents, for example:

Internal documents:

  • Signing of employment contracts.
  • Signature of vacation request by employees.
  • Signature of job offers.
  • Signature of authorizations and other day-to-day documents.

External documents:

  • Signing of contract of agency or mandate contract for sale or rent.
  • Signing of rental contracts for homes, warehouses, offices, or commercial premises.
  • Signing of purchase and sale deposit contracts.
  • Signing of sale or lease offers.
  • Signing of purchase options.

The signature of a rental contract by electronic signature is, therefore, one of the many facets in which the digital transformation of companies in the real estate can be applied and can be a first step to attract clients and stand out among competitors.

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