If you are interested in converting your manual lease management to an online process, you aren’t the only one. Many landlords benefit from the convenience, security, and time-saving perks of online lease signing.
If you’re new to the feature, you might be wondering where to start. Good news: Modern property management software makes lease signing painless and straightforward. Simply follow these steps, and you’ll be digitally signing contracts with new tenants in no time.
Create or Upload Your Lease
If you have an existing lease, great! If not, that’s okay too. Property management software allows you to upload an old lease or create one entirely from scratch.
If you’re going the uploading route, .doc (Microsoft Word) or .pdf files are generally the easiest to convert while preserving formatting. If you want to create a new lease, you’ll also be able to upload a template which you can then edit to cater to your specific properties.
When your completed lease is in the software, you can reuse or modify it as many times as you need. You’ll also be able to tack on addenda if you want to add something later, after the lease is signed. Just remember, you’ll need to get your tenants’ approval if you add addenda in the middle of the lease term.
The second step of online lease signing is to assign yourself and your tenants’ roles. You should assign yourself as “Landlord” and then add additional roles for each tenant renting the property. If needed, you can even predetermine a specific lease signing order.
Around this step, you’ll also want to indicate whether the lease will be joint or individual. This lets the software know whether you’ll be renting to each tenant individually (“by-the-bedroom”) or jointly (each tenant shares responsibility for the entire property). Bills and fees can then be sent accordingly.
Indicate Lease Fields
Now that you’ve uploaded your lease and assigned roles, it’s time to indicate lease fields. This means dragging and dropping fields on each section of your lease, including date fields, checkboxes, textboxes, and signing/initial lines.
This step lets your software know where to let your tenants write on/sign the lease. You can also set up validity checks during this step to ensure your renters are entering the correct information. Simply select the information type you want (date, digits, email address) in a particular field, and the computer will reject anything your tenant enters that doesn’t match that type.
Share Your Lease
Congratulations, you’ve finished your online lease! All you need to do now is share it with your tenants. Your lease is ready immediately—simply indicate that the lease is ready to be shared, and your software will send each tenant a link to sign it via email.
What happens if you want to amend or addend your lease later, after it has been signed? No problem. So long as your tenants approve and re-sign, you can change or add to your lease any time you want. Simply open up the document again, make edits or additions, and share it with your tenants the same way.
The last step of online lease signing is, well, signing. When your tenants get the link to your lease in their inbox, they’ll be able to review, initial, and sign at any time from their device.
If any of your tenants express concerns about the validity or security of their signature, you can point them to the 2000 eSign Act, which made eSignatures fully recognized by the U.S. government. You can also explain that eSignatures are encrypted, authenticated, verified, and tracked via the tenant’s IP address and email.
With these reassurances, you should be able to put your tenants at ease. They will soon learn to appreciate online leases as much as you do!
Sign On to Online Lease Signing
With the right property management software, lease signing can be easy and immediate. Lease management never needs to be tedious or exhausting again. When you use online lease signing, you’ll be able to forget about formatting and distribution and instead focus on what’s really important: solidifying your terms and getting them to tenants as quickly as possible. With a little setup, you and your tenants will be well rewarded.