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Property services industry moves forward with electronic signatures

It will soon be possible to sign and witness documents, including contracts like residential agreements, electronically in a huge step forward for the property services industry, according to the Real Estate Institute of NSW.

Currently, the Electronic Transactions Regulation 2017 (NSW) prevents the electronic witnessing of documents. If passed without amendment, the Conveyancing Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (NSW) will enable witnesses to sign documents electronically.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said REINSW has been vocal on the importance of this issue for many years, and said it was great to see the Government had finally taken the step forward.

“This is good for agents, landlords and tenants,” Mr McKibbin said.

“Times are changing, and technology is playing a more pivotal role in the property services industry and this amendment will bring the industry in line with other industries, embracing technology and streamlining business practices.

“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.

“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,” Mr McKibbin said.

Introduced into NSW Parliament by the Upper House (Legislative Council) on 17 October 2018, the Bill was passed without amendment on 24 October. The same day, it was sent to the Lower House (Legislative Assembly) and passed on 13 November. It was then assented by the Governor on 22 November.

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