HUD issues guidance on use of Electronic Signatures
The topic of electronic signatures has routinely come up in the COVID-19 conversation. HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs issued Notice H 20-4 on May 26 providing guidance on using electronic signatures and electronic document transmission. This notice permits multifamily industry partners to avail themselves of Federal E-Transaction Laws and produce electronic documents, obtain electronic signatures, and transmit and store documents electronically.
The guidance is intended for industry partners who work in conjunction with HUD to provide multifamily housing, including owners of HUD-assisted properties, management agents, and service providers in Projected-based Section 8 programs and Sections 202 and 811. The guidance also applies for HUD and Contract Administrators.
Under the Notice, HUD-assisted housing communities are permitted, but not required, to use electronic methods. HUD industry partners can elect to maintain paper files, electronic files, or a combination of both; providers can also convert paper files to electronic format.
There are many benefits to using e-signatures. E-signatures allow for the creation of digital workflows, which save time and money in the form of reduced paper usage and storage. Digital workflows allow property managers to focus on other tasks instead of coordinating with applicants and residents to obtain wet signatures. Applicants and residents can sign documents when it is most convenient for them and at a location of their choosing. Additionally, there is no need for in-person contact when e-signatures are available.
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3 Different Examples of signing
- E-Invite: Allow your future tenants to sign from where ever they are
- E-Sign in person: Tenants sign on mobile device or desktop to sign your lease forms
- Paper: Print pre-filled lease and capture wet signature
With e-signatures, significant details of the signature are captured (time, date, etc.) in a secure environment. Anyone who signs electronically must authenticate his or her identity during the signing process. This is not the case with traditional pen-and-ink signatures that anyone could use to sign a form with the applicant’s or resident’s name and bring it to the office.
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