WHAT THIS NOTICE IS ABOUT
This Privacy Notice tells you what information we obtain and hold about you whether you are initially applying to us for a tenancy or if you become a tenant, resident or guarantor, it explains what information we collect, why we collect it, and what we do with it, as well as who we share it with. We collect and handle personal information about our tenants and residents and prospective tenants and residents along with any guarantors to enable us to provide residential accommodation. This includes dealing with applications for tenancies, checking the suitability of tenants, residents along with any guarantors (including credit, immigration and similar referencing checks), arranging lettings, property management (including dealing with repairs), rent collection, dealing with any complaints, maintaining our accounts and records, tenancy terminations and administering tenancy deposits.
We call this information “your information”. It is also referred to as “data”.
Where this notice is given to more than one person it is given to each of you separately.
If there is no guarantor, please disregard any reference in this notice to guarantor or guarantee.
You should read this notice when you give us information so you are aware of how and why we are using this. Please update us if any information supplied by you changes.
WHY WE ARE GIVING YOU THIS NOTICE
We are required by data protection law to give you this notice. We must be open with you about why information is collected about you and then what is done with it. We must act fairly in relation to this information. You have various legal rights relating to this information which are spelt out in more detail in this notice.
If you are already a tenant, resident or guarantor some of the items in this notice may not be relevant to you. Different information will be involved depending on whether you are a tenant, resident or guarantor.
In order that we can collect or use information about you there must be a legal basis or gateway for doing so. This notice identifies the relevant gateway for the various types of information we collect and hold about you. A detailed explanation of these gateways is given in this notice.
Under data protection legislation we can only process data “as necessary” and only to the extent that it is needed. For example, we can use your bank details regarding payments and other limited purposes only. However, in certain instances, as necessary, we can share any of your data, e.g. with our own professional advisers. We may also share any of your data, as necessary, with the police/law enforcement agencies or regulatory authorities.
References to a tenant in this notice also include a guarantor if there is one. This is because a guarantor underwrites a tenant’s obligations so references to your tenancy are to include your guarantee.
THE DATA WE COLLECT AND HOLD ABOUT YOU
We use different ways to collect data about you including the information you supply to us when applying for a tenancy/residency. If you fail to provide this information we may not be able to proceed.
As necessary personal data is processed by us relating to tenants/prospective tenants/residents/prospective residents/guarantors consisting of the following as applicable: -
Identity and contact details including car registration
Personal/background information including occupation/status
Verification and credit status
Deposit (if any) including return on tenancy termination
Tenancy details including renewals, joint tenants, other residents and guarantors
Immigration/right to rent checks (England only)
Rent and other payments
Recovery of arrears, claims or possession proceedings
Repairs/health and safety/housing conditions
Breach of tenancy terms/nuisance/anti social behaviour
Council Tax liability
Water charges payable
Utilities and services provided
Termination of tenancy
Audio and CCTV recordings (if any)
Health or disability
Emails texts and other communications and via our website where we operate one.
Website and online portal information.
We also generate and use data internally, e.g. our rent records.
We also collect and receive data about you from third parties. This may be information given to us by other tenants or residents or neighbours. It can include information from a guarantor where there is a guarantor for your tenancy or from a joint tenant or other residents. Public bodies such as local authorities or the police, or other law enforcement agencies may give us information about you. This can include the Department for Work and Pensions or the local authority where you are receiving Universal Credit or housing benefit. Information may be given to us relevant to Council Tax by the local authority. Utility companies or service providers may also give us personal information about you. We obtain information about you when we carry out credit checks or take up references. We may also receive information from you via websites or from online rental portals such as Openrent, Gumtree or Rightmove. Any information which we receive in this way is set out in the Table to this privacy notice which gives you more details about information which we can receive from third parties.
SHARING DATA WITH OTHERS
We will share information we hold with others, where this is necessary. When we do this, we must comply with data protection legislation. Information can be shared with other landlords including where you apply to another landlord for a tenancy; contractors/ suppliers; utilities and service providers; tradespeople; financial organisations (including banks and insurance companies); debt collection and tracing agents; public and government bodies (including those who administer benefits, such as the Department for Work and Pensions or the local authority); courts; police and law enforcement agencies; taxation authorities; local authorities in relation to Council Tax and regulatory functions; and any future owner of the property. We may need to share information with your next of kin etc., e.g. in an emergency. It may be necessary for us to share information with a future owner of the property if we are selling. We also may share information with professional advisers such as lawyers and accountants or an advice agency which involves sharing information about you with them. If you live in a flat we give information to the freeholder, managing agent etc., for the block of flats. We also send notifications to and have correspondence with any tenancy deposit scheme protecting any tenancy deposit which has been paid. In some cases, we may be under a legal obligation to provide information either because of the law or because of a contractual obligating binding on us. What we share will depend on what is necessary in the circumstances and more details are given in the Table in respect of different kinds of information which we hold about you.
JOINT TENANTS AND GUARANTORS
Where you have a tenancy jointly with someone else or there is a guarantor for your tenancy, as necessary, we will share information either with the joint tenant or the guarantor (or both). This relates to your performance of your responsibilities under the tenancy agreement including information about any rent arrears or other breach of the tenancy terms. It can also relate to issues around the termination of the tenancy and any claims we may have as a result.
IMMIGRATION/RIGHT TO RENT CHECKS
By law, in England, we are required to check your immigration status before we rent a property to you. This means that you are legally obliged to produce certain documentation (e.g. a passport or driving licence) to us. This applies whether or not you are a UK or EU citizen. Not only are we required to see original documentation but we must take and keep copies of it. We also check this documentation as part of our process to verify your identity at the outset of the tenancy. Prospective tenants and all adult residents who will live at the property must be checked.
SEARCH ENGINES, WEBSITES, ETC.
As necessary, we obtain information about you which is publically available via search engines such as Google or Facebook and websites. This will include information about you which you yourself made public. Further details are set out in the Table. However, when doing so we make sure that we comply with applicable guidelines under data protection legislation.
SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF DATA/SENSITIVE PERSONAL DATA
In limited situations we will process information about your health or any disability. This data is given special protection under data protection law. Normally we would expect to ask you for your explicit consent before we collect or use this kind of data.
In cases where you rent a property where a child resides, information will be given to us about resident children; usually by an adult such as a parent on their behalf. Data protection law requires us to give such information additional protection where we collect or use it. In particular, where the rented property is located in England, we need to check on the age of any residents to see whether or not an immigration/right to rent check must be carried out.
OBLIGATION TO PROCESS DATA
Private renting is highly regulated so we are under various legal obligations. These include an obligation to carry out gas safety checks under gas safety legislation. We may need to handle data for this purpose, e.g. to give the contracted gas safety engineer access to the property. If the property is located within the area served by Welsh Water then we are legally obliged to pass over details of your occupancy of the property to enable them to collect water charges. In other areas, in line with Information Commissioner advice, we will pass over details of your occupancy to the relevant Water Company to enable them to collect water charges as it is in their legitimate interests to receive this information.
Legally we must also hold and process information relating to any tenancy deposit which you pay to us including sharing your information with a deposit scheme by which any deposit is protected.
Under any statutory licensing schemes applicable to the property we may be required to give information to the local housing authority relating to your occupation of the property. Similarly, there are various regulatory requirements which may mean that we need to give information about you to public or local authorities or other regulatory authorities.
Again, in line with advice from the Information Commissioner we consider that it is in the legitimate interests of utility companies to receive information about occupants of the property to enable them to bill you for utilities (unless these are included within your rent).
Likewise, we notify local authorities of your occupancy relevant to the collection of Council Tax. In any event they are entitled to serve notice upon us requiring this information if they choose to do so.
WHY WE COLLECT DATA AND THE LEGAL BASIS FOR PROCESSING YOUR PERSONAL DATA
We must tell you why we collect and hold information about you.
We must also have a legal basis before we are allowed to collect or process your personal data. Processing personal data includes recording, storing, altering, using, sharing or deleting data. We only need one of these “gateways” and for our purposes they are –
You consent. Consent may be requested in certain cases, e.g. to obtain a reference but generally we do not rely on your consent to process your personal data.
To perform our contract so that we can carry out our responsibilities under the tenancy agreement with you, including anything you request us to do with a view to you becoming a tenant (or resident).
compliance by us with a statutory or other legal obligation.
Where this is in your vital interests, e.g. if there is a life-threatening situation.
Where we are pursuing our own legitimate interests or those of a third party. This will not apply if our interests are overridden by your interests or your fundamental rights and freedoms. We must carry out a balancing exercise therefore to decide whether we can rely on this gateway to ensure that it applies. In each case we have done this and we do not consider your interests, rights or freedoms outweigh our own or those of the third party concerned.
This notice identifies the relevant gateway applicable in each case. In some cases, we will rely on more than one gateway depending on the particular purpose for which we are using your data.
Additionally, any data must be processed by us fairly and openly.
WHY WE PROCESS YOUR DATA
The various purposes for which it may be necessary for us to process various categories of your information include: -
In our legitimate interests for deciding on the suitability of a proposed tenant/resident
In our legitimate interests for verifying the credit worthiness/suitability of tenants/residents
Our legal obligation to check immigration status/right to rent. This is also to verify identities.;
To perform our tenancy contract to deal with joint tenants and residents who are linked to the tenancy
To perform our contract to complete the tenancy agreement
In our legitimate interests to secure rental payments/performance of tenant obligations, e.g. deposits and guarantors
For contractual performance for rent collection and collection of other payments including banking details
For contractual performance for managing the tenancy and the property
For contractual performance and/or in our legitimate interests for record keeping
For contractual performance for arranging repairs and maintaining the condition of the property and keeping it in a safe condition.
For contractual performance for monitoring and enforcement of tenant responsibilities
For contractual performance or in our legitimate interests for recovering debts and other payments due, including any possession proceedings
In our legitimate interests for administering liability for Council Tax
Our legal obligation (in the Welsh Water area) or otherwise in our legitimate interests and those of the Water company for the payment of water charges
In our legitimate interests and those of the provider relating to arranging and paying for utilities and services
In our legitimate interests for dealing with welfare benefits (including Universal Credit and housing benefit) where payable in respect of the rent
In our legitimate interests in relation to tenancy termination including the return of any deposit
In our legitimate interests for processing complaints
For contractual performance or in our legitimate interests for dealing with health and disability issues relating to tenants/residents
In our legitimate interests for obtaining and holding audio and cctv recordings
To perform our legal obligations to provide information to public or local authorities who are legally entitled to require this information
In your vital interests for contacting next of kin etc., in an emergency
In our legitimate interests for the storage of emails, records of calls and other communications
In accordance with our legal obligations if you exercise your rights under data protection law
To perform our legal obligations for compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
In our legitimate interests for the establishment and defence of legal rights
In our legitimate interests for prevention, detection and investigation of crime and anti social behaviour and the security of any website or other means of electronic communication
We may change the purposes where this is compatible for the purpose for which we obtained the data originally. If we need to use your data for a non-compatible purpose we will notify you and explain the legal gateway that allows us to do so. We may process your information without your knowledge where this is required or permitted by law.
More information about what we do with data and why, along with the relevant legal gateway is given in the Table. This also tells you who we share data with and receive it from.
We will monitor, record and retain your calls, emails, text messages, social media messages and other communications. This is in our legitimate interests to maintain an accurate record of these. This may be necessary to manage your tenancy or the property or to deal with your application for a tenancy or to deal with tenants/residents or prospective tenants/residents/guarantors. We need these records for our ongoing dealings with you, including our data protection obligations.
LENGTH OF STORAGE OF DATA
Data can only be stored on a time limited basis and not indefinitely. We will hold personal data about you for the duration of your tenancy and for seven years after your tenancy has ended. This is the statutory limitation period six years plus a further year to allow for service of proceedings should proceedings commence later. We are also required to retain information for up to six years for tax purposes. If your tenancy application does not go ahead then we retain data for one year.
STORAGE AND SECURITY OF DATA
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
All our information is stored securely electronically on servers or devices. Certain information is also retained on a secure basis in hard copy format.
To protect our legitimate interests telephone conversations may be recorded electronically for monitoring and to ensure that we have a record of what is said. You or others may leave messages when calling.
When we install CCTV, this is for security purposes in cases where we consider that it is in our legitimate interests to carry out such monitoring which must be done in accordance with legal requirements. We may also use CCTV to detect breaches of the tenancy terms, e.g. in the common parts or outside the building. Recordings will be kept for these purposes.
INFORMATION LEGALLY REQUIRED UNDER YOUR TENANCY AGREEMENT
Your tenancy agreement provides that in certain situations you must give us information when asked. This is a legal obligation because it is a contractual requirement. You should refer to the relevant clauses in your tenancy agreement which tell you the situations in which such information must be given.
HOLDING DATA OUTSIDE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Our email account and web provider is the provider specified in the Table. Our email account is web based. Providers store related data internationally and not necessarily within the European Union. The recipient of this data is the provider concerned. You need to refer to the provider concerned to determine if they have the required clearance (adequacy decision) from the EU authorities or whether or not, instead, there is an agreement containing appropriate and suitable safeguards and to obtain a copy of this agreement.
Where we hold personal data about you, you are the data subject. Data protection legislation gives you a number of rights. To exercise any of these rights you should contact us. You can do so by email at the address given above or you can telephone us on the number given above. You can also write to us at our address given at the top of this notice. Normally no fee is payable.
In particular you have a right to object to the processing of your information where we are processing this in our own legitimate interests or those of someone else. This applies if you feel that this impacts on your own interests or your fundamental rights or freedoms.
These rights are as follows:
Access – you have the right to make a request to be told what personal data we hold about you. This is a right to obtain confirmation that data has been processed and to have access to your personal data and the right to information details which should be provided with the privacy notice.
Correction/Rectification – if you consider any data we hold about you is inaccurate you can tell us so that where appropriate this can be corrected. Where a mistake is made in data processing then you can ask to have it rectified. Any third parties who have received the data from us should then be told of the rectification and you should be informed by us of any such third parties.
Erasure – you have a right to ask us in certain circumstances to erase any data we hold about you (the so called right to be forgotten). Individuals can request the right to have personal data erased to prevent processing in specific circumstances, i.e. it is no longer necessary, consent has been withdrawn, there is an objection and where applicable your rights etc., override the legitimate interests to continue our processing, or data has been unlawfully processed.
You can object to our processing of data – this allows you to object to our processing of data about you. We must then stop processing data unless we can establish legitimate reason for continuing. In particular this applies where we are relying on our own legitimate interests or those of a third party to process data but it can also apply in other situations.
Restricting processing – you can ask us to suspend processing of your personal data and we must then restrict processing of data. This includes where you are contesting the accuracy of a statement or the lawfulness of the processing.
Data portability – this allows individuals to reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services allowing them to move, copy or transfer personal data more easily.
We operate our own internal complaints policy and if you have any concerns about the way in which we collect or handle data please contact us.
Additionally, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Supervisory Authority who is –
Information Commissioner's Office
CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION
As necessary, we collect, use and otherwise process different categories of information (data) about you relying on the various legal gateways available to us. This relates to your application for a tenancy/residency and, if this goes ahead, so that we can manage the tenancy and the property along with associated matters. A general description of these processing activities for the different categories of information and the purposes for which we process your information can be downloaded here. If you consider that we have not given sufficient details of what we do then you can make an access request for more information.