Posted by & filed under Landlords, Regulatory, Tenants.

Data! It’s a valuable commodity, and one which has come in to sharp focus in recent weeks, with the scandal engulfing Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and (amongst others) the US Presidential elections. It is therefore quite poignant that new regulations covering how organisations look after your data, are just around the corner.

May 25th 2018 sees the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR is an EU wide set of rules for the handling and storage of data of EU citizens and will remain in force once the UK leaves the European Union.

Don’t we already have the Data Protection Act for this sort of thing? The short answer is yes but the GDPR retains a lot of this but there are significant changes too. So what’s new?

Firstly it’s worth understanding why this affects tenants, landlords and us, the letting agent. We, as “data controllers” handle a lot of data from you the “data subject”. This can range from name and address to bank details and this is information we’re sure you wouldn’t want falling in to the wrong hands.

Firstly we will need to map out how the data is used, from how and why we are collecting it to how it is stored, who can access it and finally how it’s disposed of, a real cradle to grave approach if you like. Next we need to identify the lawful basis we have for processing the data, i.e. which of the following reasons we are collecting it for:

  •  Consent
  • Performance of a contract e.g. it is required to create the AST
  • Legal Requirement e.g. right to rent checks.
  • Vital interests e.g. life threatening situations.
  • Legitimate interests e.g. collection of rent arrears.

Finally you as the data subject have certain rights and we as the data controllers, certain obligations in relation to what we do with your information and it’s in part why you will have been asked to “opt in” in order to continue receiving marketing materials from some organisations, these rights are as follows:

  • Right to be informed about the collection and use of your data and why it is being collected.
  • Right of access to that data so you are aware of it and that it is correct.
  • Right to rectification if any of the information held is inaccurate.
  • Right to erasure so that the data can be removed/deleted if circumstances allow.
  • Right to restrict processing as an alternative to erasure so there are limitations on the use of that data.
  • Right to data portability should you wish to obtain copies of the data held for your own uses e.g. a credit check.
  • Right to object to the data being collected. This particularly relates to supplying of data to third parties, which we simply would not entertain at Haboth

In short, this is about offering more transparency to you the data subject, so that you know what information we have, how we use it and importantly we have YOUR consent to have it and retain it.

Haboth takes the confidentiality of all landlord’s and tenant’s data very seriously we will never provide your data to third party marketing companies and businesses, are registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) for peace of mind and a copy of our data handling procedure is available upon request. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0333 012 4895 or hello@haboth.com

The full GDPR can be found on the ICO website and the RLA also have a useful guide to the industry specific implications.

 

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