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  • Property-a-holics

    GDPR breach - Unsolicited communication?

    I received a letter this morning from a lettings agent to my home address, asking if they can market my BTL which is currently on with another agent. They obviously got my home address from the land registry after seeing the To Let board outside my BTL. 

    However, this does feel kind of intrusive. Can they just send me a letter like this with all the new GDPR regulations etc?

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    They probably can. Your address is public record as is the fact that you are letting the property. Therefore this is likely to be legitimate interests marketing activity. It is a popular myth that GDPR put an end to this sort of activity. However, they should have told you how to opt out in future and they must comply if you ask them not to contact you again.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    I had three or four of these letters from different agents last time I advertised a rental property.  One of the agents even sent follow-ups (in just a few days) claiming they had tenants waiting who would pay more than the advertised rent, etc, etc.

    There was no To Let board though, so I assume they're monitoring Rightmove and similar.

    Personally I just found them annoying but presumably they get some results or they wouldn't bother sending them.

    (Afraid I don't know about the data protection question.)

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    Landlord | PaTMa Founder | http://www.patma.co.uk | Property and Tenant Manager

    Try our buy-to-let profit calculator or property browser extension for free.

    Try being an HMO license holder!  I get lots of letters from agents and R2R chancers who've got my name from the HMO register.

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    You're not wrong there. I get blasted with the same letter every time some guru runs a weekend rent to rent course.   The latest one had a name on it that I recognised from somewhere. 

    His website made him look like a huge corporate operation with hundreds of properties.  His accounts are yet to be filed as he only incorporated in November.  He lives around the corner form some of my HMOs.   

    I googled his name and realised that he used to play for WBA and now plays for another team and is heading towards the end of his professional football career. Obviously rent to rent is his pension plan.  Good luck with that.

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    They are just trying to do a job and make a living. . For anyone who has ever been in the selling business you search everywhere to try and get some business.

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    That is no excuse for breaking the law or being rude. (I am not saying that is what happened in the OP,)

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    " Your address is public record as is the fact that you are letting the property. Therefore this is likely to be legitimate interests marketing activity. It is a popular myth that GDPR put an end to this sort of activity. "

    Yes GDPR is a myth.  However;

    If a property is advertised, your intended audience are prospective tenants but you cannot stop other people seeing it too.

    The owner of the rental property is a public record on the land registry but is not always a natural person.  The land registry does not necesarily state the current home address of the owner, or does it?

    Please explain why you say a person's home address is a public record?  I don't think that is correct.

    It is not OK if your private home address is passed to third parties to send you junk mail!

    Be aware, the companies who erect letting/sale boards get paid to notify credit reference agencies who then sell the information on.  Rightmove do the same.

    This is used to prompt marketing from business involved in house moves like utilities or to inform your lender you have placed a property for sale or to let.

    They catch out customers who don't have consent to let this way.

    I'd be interested to know from any agents here whether the letting board companies or Rightmove make this practice clear to you?  Also, do you inform your landlords/vendors as part of your agency terms?

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