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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12173
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Im clear that in most contracts digital signatures ( as provided

Customer Question

I'm clear that in most contracts digital signatures ( as provided by echosign and docusign etc) are perfectly legal. However I'm also aware that there may be problems using these with certain types of Scottish contracts because of the "Writers to the Signet" law? For example can you sign a
AT5 form (unsure)
Short assured tenancy ( I think no?)
Tenancy Guarantor Contract ( I think yes)
Inventory confirmation ( I think yes)

I'd be interested to get chapter on verse ( in particular in regard the contracts surrounding Scottish residential tenancies) on this matter.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

There is no "writers to the signet" law as such. You may be thinking of the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 which you get online and which is the Act that lays down the law as to what type of formality is required for various types of writings.

As regards your own specific interest, residential tenancies, the law is that any contract for the sale or lease of heritable property in Scotland must be in writing. A lease should be signed and witnesses by both parties. Because the AT5 creates the type of tenancy, ie, a short assured tenancy my opinion is that it should also be signed by the landlord.

The inventory of contents relates to moveable items and could be dealt with electronically.

The personal guarantee I wouldn't be happy unless it was signed and witnessed as I would always advise having a clause for execution in a personal guarantee so that it could be registered in BCC. That means that in the event of monetary default you don't have to go to court. You can execute diligence on the face of the document which is far easier and quicker. The same goes for the lease document itself.

Happy to discuss further, but in general terms digital contracts can restrict remedies under the law of Scotland.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.