Do I have a right to know who lives in my house?

Do I have a right to know who lives in my house?

14:20 PM, 24th March 2021, About 6 months ago 35

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I recently rented out my property and instructed a letting agent to fully manage it. As we are a family of tradesmen, I like to do any of the maintenance/gas safety checks/electrical certificates myself using my family.

Today the letting agent contacted me to say that the gas check was due. I said that I would be doing it myself, the only problem being that I didn’t have any contact details for the tenant and therefore asked if I could be supplied with these.

I was informed that due to GDPR they were not allowed to give me any tenants details or contact details and that I would need to let them know who I was using for the gas check, and they would make the arrangements.

Whilst I am happy for them to make the arrangements, I cannot believe that I am not allowed to know who is in my property. I was also not given a copy of the contract as again I was informed that due to GDPR I was not allowed to see the information.

Can anyone throw any light on this please.

Arthur



Comments

by John Mac

17:10 PM, 24th March 2021, About 6 months ago

Sack the agent ASAP as they are talking complete rubbish. They represent/work for you, you should have had details of Potential Tenants & then copies of the AST & Tenants contact details.

Under GDPR you are more than entitled to see such docs, the AST is between you & the Tenant, your agreement with the agent is separate from this. If anything goes wrong (Legally) with your Let its your neck on the chopping block NOT the agent & so you need all docs & contact details as a matter of urgency.

by Binks

6:56 AM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

Completely agree with previous comment. Sounds like you need a new agent who knows what they are doing!

by MargaretM

7:26 AM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

I agree too. The Tenancy Agreement is between you and the people living in your property and you have every right to know their contact details.
Your Agent is lacking basic knowledge so I would change as this could be a real detriment if you had to go for eviction as it sounds as though they would not know what they are doing.
I have been caught like that by an Agent who was more concerned with the tenants Human Rights than mine as the property owner!

by Laura Delow

7:43 AM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

I agree but you do need to be registered with the Information Commissions Office (ICO). The agent "acts" for you & as the landlord you are ultimately held responsible/accountable & as such you are the Data Controller & the agent is your Data Processor as per General Data Protection Regulation that came into effect 21.05.18.
I sought clarity with the ICO & NLA in 2018 & received the following answer.
Question.
For properties I let via an agent where the agent finds the tenant, manages the tenancy & just provides me with the tenant name, telephone number, email address, do I need to:-
i) draw up a formal contract between me as Data Controller & the agent as Data Processor? YES (THIS IS NORMALLY IN THE FORM OF A SIGNED TERMS OF BUSINESS)
ii) if the agent uses a sub processor eg Homelet to carry out referencing, does the agent also need formal permission from me to use sub processors? YES AS YOU ARE THE DATA CONTROLLER AND ULTIMATELY HELD RESPONSIBLE.
iii) if I let a property to a Housing Assoc. am I entitled to know their sub tenant's detail? NO. THE HA IS YOUR TENANT NOT THE SUB TENANT

by Graham Bowcock

8:41 AM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

Arthur

Your agent is a bit misguided/overzealous. You have a contractual relationship with the tenant and so are entitled to know who you are dealing with. Frankly they should have told you when the tenancy started - basic information should be in the tenancy agreement and you should have received a copy.

As noted above by Laura, as a landlord you should be registered with ICO and have a privacy policy of your own.

Landlords and agents must not give tenants' details to any third party (such as contractors) unless that third party has their own ICO registration and is GDPR compliant.

by Dylan Morris

9:52 AM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

Why not ditch your agent and manage your properties yourself ?
I know the NRLA have come in for some stick on this forum and I agree they do need to have a sharper pair of teeth when dealing with Government regulation. However they are very very good in providing help and advice for us landlords self managing. They have an excellent documents library use can use with specimen application forms, draft tenancy agreement, holding deposit form etc etc. Loads of stuff.
The NRLA were invaluable in providing me with all the information required to become GDPR compliant, especially the specimen Privacy Notice which you can download. A superb document that covers off everything you could possibly imagine.
Also plenty of information and guidance if you want to take possession of the property yourself, such as issuing Section 8 and Section 21.
I’ve found their legal advice helpline very helpful and as a self managing landlord I feel more confident having somebody to turn to and hold my hand. Membership cost £75 p.a. which of course you can write off in your expenses.
Sorry if this sounds like an advert for the NRLA. I don’t work for them......honestly. Just thought I should let you know how helpful I find them.

by Chris @ Possession Friend

10:15 AM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

I always ask to see ( have a copy ) of the reference check, BEFORE I authorise the Agent to sign a Tenant up. Then always demand the original tenancy agreement is Posted to me Recorded delivery with Agent keeping a copy.
Landlords and Agents do fall out and terminate Management agreements and you don't want the Agent to be holding original crucial documents that they can use a a lever against you to pay for example, disputed fees, or lengthier Notice periods they claim as valid.

by MargaretM

12:19 PM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 25/03/2021 - 10:15
My managing agent uses online documents and signing service and I can download all docs when completed so always have a copy of the latest agreement.

by DSR

12:20 PM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

The Agent should be registered with one of 2 or 3 ombudsman schemes - a mention that you might have to contact the one they are covered by might produce a more positive reaction to your request.....

by Mike

16:41 PM, 25th March 2021, About 6 months ago

GDPR is only necessary of you were storing sensitive data on computer files, and not when you were using paper based filing system. Correct me if I am wrong, also I raised an objection with ICO for publishing my details, or my name and address on a public data base when the fact is they are responsible for protecting data yet they were exposing my details, how ironic, immediately they responded I can go as Name Witheld

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