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Myth busted: tenancy agreements and e-signatures

1 April 2017

Photo: Autumn in Central Otago by Chris Fort

You may be surprised to know that NZ law not only allows agreements to be entirely electronic but actually encourages it. And now will empower landlords and tenants to conduct their agreement better than ever before by making use of these laws.

The days of the hard copy tenancy agreement may soon be coming to an end. Once upon a time, hard copy contracts and in-person signatures were required for many types of contracts and legal documents, such as residential tenancy agreements. However, the rise of online shopping and business dealings means that the law must keep pace with technological change to remain relevant.

Since 2002, however, these requirements have been relaxed to account for the increasing digitisation of business and consumer transactions. Now for most transactions and contracts, including tenancy agreements, the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing and signed can be met if the relevant information is electronically stored and the electronic signature is reliable, identifies the person and indicates their approval, and both parties consent to using electronic means.

Although the law now makes electronic contracts easy, the reality for most landlords and tenants remains pen and paper tenancy agreements that look something like this. Until now, however, there has not been a viable electronic alternative to hard-copy agreements. This is where provides a solution.

Not only does our service meet the legal requirements by replicating everything in the standard hard-copy agreement, it actually improves the quality, detail, and accuracy of the contract. will provide an easy way for landlords and tenants to securely store their agreement and access it at any time through the website or app. You’ll never need to worry about losing your agreement or forgetting the terms ever again.

There is so much going on at the start of any tenancy, can also take bond lodgement off your hands. We use e-signature to generate and complete bond lodgement forms. The form is signed in a few simple clicks, we follow up with tenants and do the rest for you. also gives users the flexibility to easily customise their agreement while still meeting the minimum legal requirements by providing a facility to upload photos of the property as part of the condition report.

Digitisation of tenancy documents is undoubtedly the future of renting - even the law says so! Now is empowering landlords and tenants to take advantage of the benefits of doing business online.

Note: The fact that an agreement is not in writing does not mean that the agreement is invalid or unenforceable. A legally valid and enforceable tenancy agreement can be created by verbal agreement only. Meeting the legal requirement that the agreement be in writing is primarily the responsibility of the landlord.

Note: The relevant legislation includes: Electronic Transactions Act 2002 and Part 4 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017.

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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