Signing on the dotted line

by Chris Shaw

signing electronic document

The simple signature has been used for centuries to show agreement and approval. For many housing associations it is used across many parts of their work, especially where paper systems are still prevalent. An electronic signature software solution can change this.

We have recently helped Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) implement an electronic signature system to remove the need for face to face interactions when obtaining customer signoffs to key documents such as tenancy agreements. The system selected by CCHA was DocuSign.

CCHA use the system straight out of the box with no customisation, and it creates an audit trial so strong it can be admissible in court.

It is being used first by the housing teams for new tenancy signups and pre-tenancy checks. However, the system is flexible and can help with the progression of documents that need to be signed by internal staff as well as by customers, so it will likely be utilised for a number of other processes.

The system has been very effective for speeding up tenancy signups, additionally positive feedback has been received from customers as the system is very simple to use. It also helps to manage the organisation of large volumes of document sign-offs as it maintains a list of the current status of each sign-off from an easily accessible web interface.

Implementation and the conversion of exiting workflows can be achieved within a few weeks as the system is web-based.

So, the next time you lift a pen just pause before you sign on the dotted line – there may be a better way.


“Castles and Coasts have worked successfully with Shaw to implement DocuSign within our Housing teams to allow ‘virtual sign ups’ to take place. As a social housing provider this has been vital to ensure business continuity throughout this challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing some of the most vulnerable at this time to secure a home, whilst ensuring that all necessary documentation is completed. Initial training sessions with Shaw have empowered the team to progress on to internal colleague training with implementation now complete across our full operational area including Cumbria and the North East of England.”

Anna Bates
Head of Housing

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