Data Processors and Data Controllers - Contractors etc

Introduction

Where two parties are involved in processing or sharing someone's personal data (e.g. the tenant's contact details such as a mobile telephone number or email address) then under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) both parties may be data controllers or one may be the data controller and the other the data processor in relation to the data in question. This was also the case under the Data Protection Act.

If the relationship for the relevant data is data controller and data processor what is, however, new is that where this is the case a written agreement, containing certain mandatory terms, must be put in place with the data processor by the data controller.

You as landlord will be the data controller for personal information you hold about your tenants etc. You need to know the situations when you share data with someone else and that other person is the data processor because a processing agreement is needed.

How this works

This is best explained by a simple example. As landlord, you retain a building contractor to carry out work at one of your rented properties. It is not practical for you to arrange access because you are not sure when the builder is going to be able to call. You pass over the tenant's contact details so the builder can contact one of the tenants to make arrangements.

Additionally, so that the building contractor knows what work they have to do, you pass over some information about a report received from one of the tenants explaining what work is needed, e.g. "I was in bed on such and such a date and the ceiling collapsed on me".

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