Can landlords and tenants rely on digital contracts?

Wed 31st Aug 2016

Coodes Partner and Commercial Property lawyer Paula Dunkley comments on whether digital communications can be used to create legally binding contracts between landlords and tenants.

“It is fair to say that the legal world has not yet ditched paper in favour of digital records. Most legal documents are still signed in their physical form. However, with a growing number of landlords and tenants now communicating by email, text or social media, can digital contact replace paper contracts when it comes to property?

“Perhaps surprisingly, agreements made between landlords and tenants through digital communicatons are legally binding. The means by which the agreement is made does not change according to the technology used. This means you can enter into a formal legally binding tenancy with your tenant by electronic means either intentionally or by accident, so all communication between landlords and tenants should be treated seriously.

“However, we would always advise that having a hard copy signed document gives the most certainty. A handwritten signature provides the other party with an accepted degree of comfort as to the authenticity and integrity of the document. It can identify the signatory and provide certainty that the relevant person has been involved in the act of signing.

“In the event that producing a signed hard copy document is not possible – perhaps because the two parties live in different countries – then we would advise using email rather than social media or text messaging. We would also advise attaching a copy of the tenancy agreement to the email and asking your tenant to confirm it is on those terms they accept the tenancy. You should then keep copies of the agreement and emails with your papers relating to the property.”

For any advice in relation to your responsibilities as a landlord, please contact the team on 01872 246200 or

Wed 31st Aug 2016

Get in touch

Call us on 0800 328 3282, or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Search News & Events



Changes to Paternity Leave in April 2024: What do you need to know?

As of 6th April 2024, paternity leave will be changing to reflect a shifting attitude…

Read more


Suspecting a Power of Attorney of financial abuse: what can you do?

What steps should you take if you suspect someone is committing financial abuse as a…

Read more

Portfolio Builder

Select the legal expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

    Download    Add to portfolio   

    Remove All


    Click here to share this shortlist.
    (It will expire after 30 days.)