ex tenants and gdpr

Introduction

Questions have been raised with the RLA about how you deal with ex tenants, residents and guarantors in relation to data protection under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) effective from 25th May 2018. Traditionally both landlords and agents have held onto personal information relating to tenants etc., for some time, storing it in their archives. This will continue under the new regime.

The problem arises because there are no transitional provisions under GDPR. GDPR applies to any information which you held relating to former tenants etc., as at 25th May 2018. GDPR applies where you are “processing” personal information/data and for these purposes processing includes storing this data, as well as consulting it if you wish to do so. For example, you may need to make a claim against a former tenant or defendant of such a claim.

Privacy Notices

The first requirement is that any former tenant, resident or guarantor, about whom you currently hold information, should be given a privacy notice. If you have a website, then you can put your privacy notice on your website. This of course should be up to date and compliant with GDPR. Ideally you should contact any former tenant etc., to tell them that you have put up this privacy notice, in case they wish to look at it. If you have contact details for ex tenants etc., particularly any that you are still having to deal with (e.g. because of a tenancy deposit dispute or a claim) then you should now send them an email drawing attention to your privacy notice on your website. Likewise, where you do not have website, you should email them a copy of your up to date privacy notice as an attachment. Alternatively, this could be sent as a hard copy by post.

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