Upload lease documents, indicate where tenants should sign, and collect signatures online with eLeasing from Buildium.
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Sign up for eLeasing
- Create an unsigned draft lease
- Upload lease documents and create an agreement
- Prepare lease agreements using Adobe’s authoring tool
- Sign a lease agreement
- Activate an eLease
1. Sign up for eLeasing
To sign up for eLeasing:
- Navigate to Settings > Application settings and click Add-on Services settings.
- Scroll down to eLease and click Get started. Here, you can read more about eLeasing, review pricing information, and sign up. It’s important to note that only Buildium account owners have the ability to sign up for eLeasing.
- From the sign up page, you’ll be prompted to create an account with our eSignature partner, Adobe. If you have an existing Adobe Document Cloud account, please call our support line at 888-414-1988 to complete the sign-up process.
- Sign in once using the credentials you just created on the previous page, and you will be redirected back to Buildium to start using eLeasing
2. Create a draft lease
To use eLeasing, start by creating a draft lease. A draft lease is exactly what it sounds like—a draft of your lease. You can continue to make changes to a draft lease up until you activate it (which will add it to your Rent Roll).
To create an unsigned draft lease:
- Navigate to Leasing > eLease and draft leases and click Add lease.
- Because this is a draft eLease, the signature status can only be Unsigned.
- Recording a signed lease assumes that you already have a fully-signed, legally binding lease in your hands. If you select this option, you will not be able to use eLeasing.
- Select the property and unit number, then enter the lease dates and type.
- Select a leasing agent, then add your Tenants, Rent and Security Deposits below.
When you’re recording an signed, you’ll see some additional options here: You’ll be able to give your tenants access to the resident portal and/or enroll them in Assurant’s Point of Lease Insurance (if you have Renters Insurance Plus enabled). When you create an unsigned lease, you won’t see these options yet. That’s because your tenants haven’t signed anything yet! You’ll be able to enroll them in Assurant’s Point of Lease Insurance or get them access to the resident portal after all documents have been signed and you’ve activated the unsigned lease.
- Once all your lease info has been added, click Create eLease.
- When an unsigned lease is created, you will be brought to the draft lease summary page. From here, you can edit lease information or add notes. Update recurring and initial charges by selecting the Financials tab, or edit tenant information by clicking the Tenant tab.
- If you create a draft lease by mistake, click Cancel draft lease on the draft summary page. Canceling the draft lease does not delete it from the system, but it will remove it from the main view when you navigate to Leasing > eLease and draft leases.
- If you are using a draft lease to create an eLease within Buildium, it’s very important that you do not click Activate draft lease until you’ve completed the full eLeasing process. There is no going back to send or sign an agreement using eLeasing after you’ve activated a draft lease. You would need to start over.
3. Upload lease documents and create an agreement
Once you’ve created a draft lease, you’ll be able to upload your lease documents.
- Navigate to Leasing > eLease and draft leases and choose the draft lease you’d like to create an agreement for.
- From the draft lease summary page, select a lease template, or click Upload a PDF document to add your lease and any additional documents or addenda.
- If you decide to not use a lease template, the software requires that documents uploaded for eLeasing are in PDF format. To convert a Word Document into a PDF, open the file in Microsoft Word, select File > Export > Create PDF/XPS Document.
- You can upload one file in the lease or rental agreement section, then upload any additional documents and addenda in the section below. Buildium will bundle all files into one PDF for signing.
- Next, select each person who needs to sign the lease document. You’re required to have at least one staff member and one tenant selected. The tenant you created the draft lease for will already be listed, along with the email address that was entered for them. You can add additional tenants as signers, as well as rental owners or anyone who might be co-signing the lease with the tenant. The staff member who is currently working with the draft lease will be listed as the default staff member. You can add additional staff members and remove the staff member who defaulted before the agreement is created.
- It is very important that you double and even triple check the email addresses for each signer to make sure they are correct. Once an eLease is created and sent, the email addresses cannot be edited.
- After you’ve entered all signers and verified their email addresses are correct, click Create agreement. It will take a minute or two for your documents to generate. Once they’re generated, you’ll be brought to Adobe’s authoring tool to prepare and send the lease agreement:
If you realize that you uploaded an incorrect document, or that you have the wrong email address for one of your signers, click the x in the top right corner of the window to cancel the current agreement preparation, delete the current document, and upload a new one.
4. Prepare lease agreements using Adobe’s authoring tool
After you’ve uploaded your lease documents and created an agreement, it’s time to prep your lease agreement for eSignatures using Adobe’s authoring tool.
You have two options when it comes to prepping the terms of your lease agreement: You can edit your standard lease template in Word to include the specific details of the lease you’re trying to create (ie: dates, rent, etc.), OR you can use Adobe’s authoring tool to add input fields that you’ll be able to prefill with relevant information before the document is sent out to signers.
To add input fields for things like dates or rent amounts, click the drop down menu under Select Recipent and click Prefill by [your name] (you). Click on the Data Fields tab, and drag and drop the Text Field to places where you plan to prefill information. You’ll be able to add text to those fields a little bit later.
Next, you’ll want to designate the areas where your signers should sign, initial, or add information.
Choose the first signer from the drop down menu under Select Recipient. If there are any places where you’d like that signer to add information, like their emergency contact, pet’s name, or some other bit of information that you weren’t able to capture via their rental application, you can drag and drop the Text Field onto that area of the lease agreement.
Click on the Signer Info Fields tab to add signer-specific fields like Title, Company, Signer Name, Email or Date.
You’ll also want to show each signer where to sign. Click the Signature Fields tab and drag and drop Signature fields and Initial fields wherever it’s appropriate.
Repeat these steps of selecting a signer and dragging and dropping fields for each signer you have on the lease.
If you accidentally added a field that you need to delete, click on the field and press Delete on your keyboard.
You can also double-click each field to see who is responsible for completing that field. If you accidentally added a field for the wrong signer, you can adjust it here by clicking the drop-down menu.
Once you’ve added all fields to the document, take a minute to double check your work. If everything looks good, click Send in the top right corner of the window. As soon as you click Send, Buildium will charge your account for the eLease. Each eLease you send will cost $5.
If you added any prefill fields to your documents, you’ll be able to customize those fields as soon as you click Send:
Once you’ve entered all the appropriate information in the prefill fields, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Click to Send. An email will be sent to the first recipient.
5. Sign a lease agreement
Once an eLease has been prepared and sent, you will be brought to the summary of the draft lease where you can track who has signed the document.
All signers will receive an email with a unique URL to navigate to Adobe to complete their signature. There is no login required - once they sign and initial all pages you’ve specified and clicked save, their signature will be captured and the progress bar in Buildium will be updated to indicate that they’ve signed.
If the signer happens to be visiting your office, and you want them to sign on the spot, you can click Collect signature in person:
The Adobe modal will appear, and the signer will be able to sign just as they normally would. If signing in person, we recommend that the signer use the Draw signature method to verify their identity as they are not accessing the document via a unique IP address.
Once all signers have completed their signature, the staff member that was entered as the final signer will receive an email to countersign the document to complete the process. They’ll also have an option to countersign the document right from Buildium.
A copy of the signed lease agreement will be emailed to all parties who signed once the document is completed.
6. Activate an eLease
The final step in the eLeasing process is to activate the draft lease once all signatures have been captured. This tells the system that the agreement has been completed and creates an active lease within Buildium.
To activate a draft lease once eLeasing has been completed:
- Navigate to Leasing > eLease and draft leases, then click on the draft lease you’d like to activate.
- The orange Signed lease banner on the draft lease summary page will indicate when the signed lease agreement is ready for activation in Buildium.
- To activate a signed agreement, click the Activate draft lease link at the top right of the draft summary page. Once you click the link, Buildium will create an active lease for this tenant in the system based on the information entered into the draft lease.
- If you have Assurant’s Point of Lease Insurance activated for this property, you will be prompted to enter insurance information at this point. Additionally, if you have any other draft leases in progress for that unit and any overlapping dates, you will have the opportunity to edit or cancel them here if you wish.
- A copy of the signed lease agreement will be uploaded to the files section of the active lease