Serving documents via electronic means

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    Serving documents via electronic means

    I use the standard NRLA AST Agreement, which states:

    'You agree that the How to Rent Guide, Gas Safety Inspection Report, Electrical Installation Condition Report, Energy Performance Certificate, and Prescribed information in relation to the government approved tenancy deposit scheme may be served on as in clause x.x above or via email to the email address(es) you provided on page 2 of this agreement'

    I note the list of documents above does not include 'Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement' or 'Inventory and Schedule of Conditions', I presume for clarity a tenant should agree to be served these documents by email. Does anyone know why then does the clause that should provide the agreement between parties regarding serving of documents by email, omit listing these two important documents.

    Is it because a landlord could have any number of other documents he wished to serve, and it is up to him to make a separate agreement regarding email serving, for those.

    I am asking as I wish to start serving documents just by email, and stop printing out reams of paper which I am sure many tenants simply put in the bin.

    On a related matter, I use 'wetransfer.com' to send the documents, as they can be quite large in MB's, it delivers them to the tenants email address, but wondered if there was anything questionable about that, as its strictly not sending them by email, but 'file transfer service'.

    The service always provides a receipt to say whether the tenant has downloaded the documents (often email delivery receipts do not always get sent back to the sender), and I get the tenant to sign a Document Receipt letter to confirm they have received a list of documents.

    Thanks

    #2
    It's because those documents are not mandatory. I always serve the TA and inventory on paper though because I want wet signatures on them for ease of use.

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      #3
      Originally posted by bob369 View Post
      I note the list of documents above does not include 'Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement' or 'Inventory and Schedule of Conditions', I presume for clarity a tenant should agree to be served these documents by email. Does anyone know why then does the clause that should provide the agreement between parties regarding serving of documents by email, omit listing these two important documents.
      There is a specific requirement that the tenant has to agree to receive those particular documents in writing and provide an email address to do so.
      If they do not, the documents are not correctly served.
      That limitation doesn't apply to any other documents, so that can be supplied electronically if that's the preference.


      On a related matter, I use 'wetransfer.com' to send the documents, as they can be quite large in MB's, it delivers them to the tenants email address, but wondered if there was anything questionable about that, as its strictly not sending them by email, but 'file transfer service'.
      I don't use that service, but I suspect that you could be challenged about it's use, because it seems to me that you are not actually sending anything to the tenant, other than a link that allows them to download documents.
      I have no idea if that's an issue or not.

      Despite what the NRLA suggest, I don't see how you can send the Prescribed Information electronically, because it is part of the requirements that the tenant has the opportunity to sign the documents, and I don't see how sending them an electronic copy meets that requirement.

      I'm probably old fashioned, but I really like hard copies and deemed delivery.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Is the purpose just to provide the T's with an electronic copy or do you want them to sign electronically? Yes in this day and age, as more and more organisations go digital, us LL's continue to be one step behind, are most likely be accused of cutting down the rain forests single handily for their own greedy ends to deliver paper to T's who on the whole will never read and most likely lose, and when they require a copy they then will request it free of charge.

        Comment


          #5
          Paper isn’t produced from rain forests and is one of the planets more eco friendly products. Like many things, its climate footprint comes from production and transport rather than raw materials - which have been renewable for decades.

          Paperks made from soft woods that grow relatively quickly and the industry has been planting more than it cuts for some time - the trees are also not great oxygen producers, usually having needles rather than broad leaves.

          From an eco point of view, paper is arguably less damaging to the planet than the infrastructure that supports email.
          That file sharing service almost certainly sits within someone’s cloud environment (probably Amazon’s, Microsoft’s or Google’s) which are, after crypto mining, among the biggest energy consumers on the planet.

          Printer ink isn’t great for the environment, and the Royal Mail isn’t that environmentally friendly, but if the tenants recycle paper rather than bin it, my green vote goes for printing.
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the replies ...

            Sorry, this has possibly been misread, are readers here assuming I am sending copies - 'for signing', which is not what I meant ... I print out get the Tenant to sign all paper work in 'wet ink', face to face, and they sign every page of each document, I then scan all the signed documents - myself keeping the signed originals, and it is these scanned 'copies' (saved as a PDF) that I wish to 'Serve' on the tenant ...

            There is a specific requirement ...
            If they do not, the documents are not correctly served.
            That limitation doesn't apply to any other documents, so that can be supplied electronically if that's the preference.


            Am I right to understand then that this requirement - is for the email address that will receive these specific documents be noted and agreed to prior to serving (noted in the AST), where as for the 'Tenancy Agreement' and say 'Inventory and Schedule of Conditions' the Tenant does not have to agree to how those documents are served, they could be served by any reasonable manner, ie post, by hand, or electronically by email.

            Despite what the NRLA suggest, I don't see how you can send the Prescribed Information electronically, ... and I don't see how sending them an electronic copy meets that requirement.

            ... is this assuming I am trying to serve them the copy 'for signing', where as in fact I am trying to serve the final 'signed' copy for ther records.

            I don't use that service, but I suspect that you could be challenged about it's use, because it seems to me that you are not actually sending anything to the tenant, other than a link that allows them to download documents.
            I have no idea if that's an issue or not.


            Did the question of 'links' not come up with the serving of the DCLG 'How to Rent' document somewhere, and it was found that the sending of a link was acceptable.
            Curious why the mechanics of email (SMTP, POP3 or IMAP) are actaully acceptable, an email uploads to a remote server, and sits there until the receiver has logged in to collect it.
            As you say, either way it is not a deemed service.
            I wonder what was debated to allow email serving of documents (as a non deemed service) ... the mechanics of email delivery (SMTP) involve a lot of remote (and falable) technology to function which the commion user has little feedback as towhen the email is delivered.

            If what I am doing is correct, then I will continue to get the tenant to sign a 'receipt' in wet ink fior documents that are only emailed.

            Comment

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