What do landlords need to know about the new 2018 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)?
Following the introduction of the new GDPR regulations earlier this year much of the business world’s focus has been on the data held on customers and employees but if you are a landlord you also need to be aware of your particular obligations regarding the way you store your tenants’ data.
As a landlord you will always need to possess personal information on your tenants and the first point to bear in mind is if the information you hold is essential to the lease, storing that information is legitimate. However, to make sure you stay on the right side of the new regulations, the personal information you keep on your tenants must be limited to what is absolutely necessary for the lease. Similarly you can’t keep any data any longer than it’s needed and any information you do retain must be kept up-to-date and accurate.
It is also important to consider what happens when relevant data is passed on to third parties (including solicitors, agents or auctioneers) via your solicitor should you sell or auction off one of your properties.
During the sale process, tenants’ data will be included throughout the auction packs, tenancy agreements and various other associated documents. As a landlord it is your responsibility – not your solicitor’s – to inform your tenants that this data will be passed on (unless you specifically tell your solicitor not to do so) because the duty of confidentiality owed by a solicitor to their landlord client is overriding.
Landlords could also consider redacting their tenants’ personal data before passing on any documents as part of a sale process as it will help avoid any potential breach of the new GDPR regulations.
Finally landlords should inform tenants at the beginning of their tenancy that their data may be passed on to third parties in the future and confirm they will notify them if and when their data is actually transferred.
If you are a landlord and think that the new GDPR regulations might affect you, please contact us for advice on how to comply with the regulations.
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