Ontario REALTORS® and consumers are one
step closer to the legal use of electronic signatures in real estate transactions.
On June 11, the Government of Ontario passed the 2013 provincial budget which included OREA’s proposal to amend the Electronic Commerce Act (ECA), 2000. The amendment would allow an electronic agreement of purchase and sale to meet a specific writing requirement under the Statute of Frauds, 1990.
"This amendment means that REALTORS® and consumers will soon have the confidence to use technology that improves the speed, efficiency and reliability of real estate transactions," said Phil Dorner, a Windsor area REALTOR® and president of OREA.
For the time being however, Ontario REALTORS® will continue using paper. The government included a section along with the amendment that says it will come into force upon proclamation. This section is meant to give the government time to talk with various stakeholders, including OREA, about any security measures that might be useful to put in place in anticipation of its coming into force.
While there is no specific timeline for when Ontario REALTORS® will be able to benefit from the legal protections of the ECA, OREA will continue working with the government to achieve proclamation as soon as possible.
SOURCE: OREA-REALTORS® applaud passage of electronic signature amendment, June 12, 2013