I intend to move into a rental home and the landlord filled out the lease and signed it, then scanned it and emailed it to me. Is the lease valid? Does it become valid as soon as I print it and sign it?


Does this demonstrate the landlord wishes to be legally bound?


Therefore it is valid.

  • Under what types of circumstances does a lease or contract have to be in hard, origial copy to be valid? Why do some such documents require a notary's signature also?
    – user3270
    Dec 1 '15 at 13:54
  • @dalem thanks for clearing that up. I was confused because what is it about fax machines that make them special in the law if scanners can be used for legally binding documents? Dec 2 '15 at 2:43
  • @user3270 I think its just extra evidence. Indeed, I have heard that a verbal agreement can count, if you can prove it. (Signed contracts with notary's are easier to prove though).
    – PyRulez
    Dec 30 '15 at 23:49
  • @PyRulez Certain kinds of contract require witnesses and/or notarization; a number of kinds of contract have to be in writing.
    – cpast
    Dec 31 '15 at 7:26

When you're walking into civil court, any paper signed by some third party must have some kind of attestation. i.e. it should be notarized or witnessed by some recognized authority. A faxcimile of that is typically acceptable...i.e. the original document is good to have, but if everyone agrees that the copy is of a valid attested document, then it's all good.

The practices of the courts are in transition with this, as we move into a paperless society.

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