That sure would be simpler; but I just don't know how binding it would be. I've read in this forum that some owners have lost cases when they didn't have the renter initial within so many inches of the cancellation clause -- how could it ever hold up in court?
I'd like to hear not only if others have done this, but if it has held up in court.
That's a great question / suggestion.
I hadn't thought of asking for an e-signature via a web-site but that sounds like a good / viable idea.
Currently, I present my rental terms to guests in an e-mail and ask them to e-mail me back and enter the words:
"I agree to the rental terms."
That's it, that's all. Clean and simple and guests love it.
In 6 years of renting two condos (close to 500 rentals), I have never had an issue when using this method.
Would it stand up in court? Honestly, I don't know -- but my feeling is that if I've done my due dilligence on my guests, the exchange of legal paperwork and signatures is just monkey-work that detracts from the guests' experience.
I would, however, be interested in hearing from anyone who actually knows the legalities of such e-signature style agreements. I agree that it's prudent to be fully-informed.
P.S. some references:
In the case of Mehta v J Pereira Fernandes the English High Court held that
- "if a party or a party's agent sending an e mail types his or her or his or her principal's name to the extent required or permitted by existing case law in the body of an e mail, then in my view that would be a sufficient signature..."