Do we landlords have to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office

by Readers Question

10:22 AM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Do we landlords have to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office

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Do we landlords have to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office

Do we landlords have to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)?

I have read that all landlords need to by May 25th.

Is this true because it sure is not getting much attention?

Many thanks

Tobias

Editors Note

There is a self assessment test on the ICO site to ascertain if you need to register with them for Data Protection

Registration self-assessment >> https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/register/self-assessment/

“Under the Data Protection Act individuals and organisations that process personal information need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), unless they are exempt.

By going through the following questions you will be able to decide if you – as an individual or on behalf of your business or organisation – need to register with the ICO.”

Number 3 is the Key Question for Landlords on the self assessment test:

Do you process the information electronically?

Answer ‘Yes’ if you process the information using computers or any system that can process the information automatically, including CCTV systems, digital cameras, smartphones, credit card machines, call logging and recording systems, clocking machines and audio-visual capture and storage systems.

If you answer NO the response is: You are under no requirement to register

Organisations that do not process personal information on a computer are exempt.  You therefore do not have to register with the ICO

However, it is important that your organisation adheres to the principles of the Data Protection Act (DPA) and understands best practice for managing information. To help ensure you are complying with the DPA, we have produced a range of training materials including practical toolkits, training videos and more.

You can still register voluntarily if you wish.

If you answer Yes the response at the end of the assessment is in nearly all cases that you will need to register with the ICO

Definition of Processing data:

“Processing, in relation to information or data, means obtaining, recording or holding the information or data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data, including –

(a) organisation, adaptation or alteration of the information or data,

(b) retrieval, consultation or use of the information or data,

(c) disclosure of the information or data by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, or

(d) alignment, combination, blocking, erasure or destruction of the information or data.”


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Comments

Brian Hughes

12:27 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 13/03/2018 - 10:56
There is a question to be answered on the new registration application self assessment process which is "Property management - including the selling and/ or letting of property" which obviously includes landlords and therefore will require registration - £40 pa.

Andy Morgan

13:27 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

I'd have thought the key question is Q.4:

"Is your organisation responsible for deciding how the information is processed?"

The answer to that is no. It is the government who has decided and determined how we must process information eg. Right to Rent checks. Therefore:

"You are under no requirement to register

Organisations that do not decide how personal data is processed are exempt. You therefore do not have to register with the ICO."

Robert Mellors

18:27 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

So some landlords think that most landlords need to register, and some think most landlords will be exempt from the requirement to register, so it is inevitable that a fair number of landlords are going to get this wrong (either failing to register, or registering when they should be exempt), so what are the consequences??????

Paul Fay

18:54 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ann Shaw at 13/03/2018 - 11:59
Under DPA you should not be releasing tenants personal data to anyone unless you have their written authority.

Michael Barnes

22:36 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Andy Morgan at 13/03/2018 - 13:27
You are wrong.
The Government decide that you MUST process the data; it does not tell you HOW to process the data.

That exemption is where an organisation with a Data Controller contract out the processing of data and tells the contractor hoe to process the data.

Paul Shears

22:42 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Yet another ill thought out government process.
Ignoring the merits or otherwise of the idea, as it is dictatorial in nature, a school child could make this very clear to all concerned.
As usual the government, in their utterly inept attempts to generate yet another income stream to prop up a completely unsustainable structure, cannot do so.
The simple task of clarifying this matter is, no doubt, going to drag on and on.
Having looked on the very poorly designed, government web site myself and tried various answers to the questions in order to elicit a pre programmed decision, I conclude that I do not have to register in my particular circumstances unless I use the information to do a tenant reference check by providing the information to a tenant referencing company.
If however, I get the tenant referencing company to deal directly with the proposed tenant, then I do not have to register.
This is at least according to the automated response from the government web site.
Of course if the web site is incorrect in it's instruction, then this will inevitably become my problem.

Michael Barnes

22:44 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

I looked at this several years ago when my wife set up a business, and decided at that point that as a landlord I needed to register.

If you do not employ an agent, then you will need to register.

The only situation in which you will not need to register is if you employ an agent and either
a) the agent does not provide you with any details about the tenants (i.e. any information provided is provided only when you visit the agent), or
b) the agent tells you exactly how to process the data provided and the agent is taking responsibility for the data as a Data Controller.

The above has been the case since the DPA came in to force.

Michael Barnes

22:57 PM, 13th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 13/03/2018 - 18:27
See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/section/60 for penalties.

Registering when exempt carries no penalty.

Martin

10:01 AM, 14th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 13/03/2018 - 22:57
There has been much discussion on other landlord forums about this with no definite answer. It seems to me that if a third party is used for credit referencing, then you probably need to register. As others have said, for the sake of £35 pa it is not worth the risk not doing so. I have just registered, took 10 minutes.

Luke P

10:23 AM, 14th March 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin at 14/03/2018 - 10:01
But once they have your details, it's only a matter of time before they come knocking. Merely paying the fee doesn't equate to compliance. I see this as yet another headache for landlords and soon enough we'll be spending all of our time meeting the legislation and never actually doing what we set out to do!

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