Data Protection for Landlords and Tenants

by Readers Question

8:48 AM, 10th February 2014
About 7 years ago

Data Protection for Landlords and Tenants

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Data Protection for Landlords and Tenants

How does the Data Protection Act apply when it comes to landlords and tenants details ?

With regard to the utilities, I have always notified the gas, electric and water suppliers and council tax office to advise them I will no longer be responsible and I have new tenants. They have always asked who they are, and I have supplied them with the names of the incoming tenants and the meter readings but was this correct? Are their details not protected under the data protection act and should I have withheld them? The utility companies have usually said they will need them to phone as well anyway. Data Protection for Landlords and Tenants

Conversely, has the tenant not got a responsibility to keep my details confidential, unless I agree otherwise, e.g. not to tell the council my name and address?

This was touched upon in another thread recently and got me thinking!

Where else do my details get given out without my permission ?

This anecdote I found amusing:

Once I had a lady visit a property where my tenant was just about to vacate and rent out, she was trying to get the Electoral Roll forms back and insisted that I tell her who will be living in the property on 15th October. I said I didn’t know. She asked if I would be moving in. I said I doubt it, but I didn’t know because it may be rented out or may not be. She persisted and asked who would be living there. I still told her I didn’t know ( I did have an idea, since we had some applicants who had paid their holding deposit ). She even asked if I could have a “good guess” at who it would be. I suggested to her that she should have a guess herself, her guess could be just as accurate – and she eventually gave up!

If I had known for certain who the incoming tenants were, should I have disclosed their details?

Regards

Jeremy

Comments

Rob Crawford

21:27 PM, 30th October 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jeremy Smith" at "10/02/2014 - 15:19":

This is a subject that I am entrenched in at the moment.

"Can landlords see references which were provided to the letting agents?

The agent can pass this information to the landlord, as long as, when the reference is asked for, they make clear to the tenant and the referee that this will happen".

"Seeing" and "passing on" are two different things. I don't have an issue with landlords seeing the results of credit/ref/ID validation & affordabilty checks etc. This is in fact encouraged in a letting agents code of practice (RICS/ARLA/UKALA/TPO) to help the landlord determine the suitability of a tenant. However, passing the data to a landlord to keep means it's no longer in your control. If that landlord then uses that data in an unlawful or unfair way then the data controller that "passed" on that data could be liable for any outcome that impacts the tenant in a negative sense. On that basis I would only pass data to a landlord to keep if they were registered with the ICO themselves and as you have stated, with the tenants permission.

Rob Crawford

21:34 PM, 30th October 2014
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Nock" at "10/02/2014 - 10:57":

Hi Gary, I did it from an agent and landlord perspective. As an agent its a firm yes but as a landlord it depends on what you do with the data. A self advertising/managing landlord is operating in the same way as an agent and as such no surprise that the answer was yes to registering. However, a landlord that uses an agent and who does not keep or use the data then there is no need to register. I have no doubt there are landlord models that are inbetween these tow extremes where the safer option for £35 is to register.

TPT

19:55 PM, 16th September 2019
About 2 years ago

I have a 99 yr lease that I let on an AST to two tenants. The Freeholder is demanding contact details for my tenants. He has already sought to gain access to the flat without notification and without emergency, and been rebuffed by the tenants. I have provided their names but do I have to give their phone numbers and email addresses? It strikes me that they are entitled to quiet enjoyment which I believe is statutory and contained in the AST and I am worried about GDPR.

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