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  • Legal FAQs

    Data Protection for landlords

    I recently received a newsletter which says that in May 2018 the data protection act will cover the information that landlords may hold on their tenants, and that we need to register with a data protection agency. 

    The possible fines for not doing so are just horrendous Sad - I've had a brief look and the cost of registering is minimal but it seems that you have to check everything out - i.e. if you keep records on your computer you need to look into the security of the service provider. 

    It seems very complicated. 

    Does anyone please have any idea how to meet this obligation simply?

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    You hold sensitive information on your Tenants, they would expect that you keep this information secure.

    The simple way to avoid all of this is to employ a Letting Agent (who is registered) that way they hold/process the sensitive information & not you.
    OR
    Do not use a computer, do not process the information (tenant refference checks) etc... <-- Bad Option.

    Otherwise the RLA has a Landlords Guide to Data Protection.

    It is not simple and another example to bust the myth that "landlords are not regulated". Take for instance if you use a tenant reference company, the tenant should be informed that you will process the information in this way to check them out. You should therefore be providing them this information and evidenceing they have given consent for you to do so. That would typically be on the Tenant Enquiry form (where you get there name, DOB, address history, evidence of id, etc..)

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    I think most LL Licensing schemes have taking up references and making those available to the Council as requirements.

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    Hi Adam,

    You'll forgive me if I don't trust Dappy Dave and Dithering Doris from my local zombie LA to hold information about my tenants!

    Cheers

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    Have a read of this thread:

    GDPR for landlords - what you need to know

    I believe best practice would be to undertake some form of GDPR training and then register for £40.00 - being belts and braces.

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    The only data I hold on my tenants is their home address and their guarantors home address, which is confirmed by the land registry where for £3 anyone can find that information.

    I have no financial data on anyone that is not easily found in the public domain, so on that basis I am not looking to start paying (again) the £40 for absolutely nothing!

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    This will also impact Social Landlords and guess what up go the rents

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    GDPR does not have any ewquirement to register, but you still need to comply even if not registered.

    The Digital Economy Act 2017 allows for the creation of such a requirement and draft regulations to do so have been published. You will have to register unless everything you do is exempt. A list of exemptions is included in the draft. I will be using the exemptions for the keeping of accounts, records of transactions (i.e. rent payments) and finamcial management.

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    thanks for link.

    re exemptions I note:

    1. (f)  subject to sub-paragraph (4), for the purposes of—
      (i) keeping accounts, or records of purchases, sales or other transactions,

      (ii) deciding whether to accept any person as a customer or supplier, or (iii) makingfinancialorfinancialmanagementforecasts,

      in relation to any activity carried on by the data controller;

    2. do you think this would exempt landlords as tenants are customers?

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    It would  not exempt you from GDPR but if those exemptions cover everything you do (as they do for me) you should not need to register, However note the reference to sub-paragraph 4

    (4) The processing of personal data by or obtained from s credit reference agency (within the  meaning of section 145(8) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974(a)) does not fall within the description of processing set out in sub-paragraph(2)(f).

    That will catch many landlords who do there own credit checks.

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    thanks.  so you say if LL does own credit check eg looking at emailed bank statements that is not an exempt activity?

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