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How the GDPR will affect UK landlords

Whether your business sells physical products or a service, the EU’s new General Data Protection Act (GDPR) will affect you as a landlord.

Brought in in response to the vast and rapid changes in the way business functions and technology have progressed, the new legislation affects the way in which you as a landlord deal with personal information.

 

What is GDPR?

GDPR was agreed upon by the European Parliament and Council in April 2016. It replaces the Data Protection Act 1995 and will be the primary law regulating personal data of citizens from 25 May onwards.

If an individual or business is found to be breaking the newly instated rules, they may risk being fined up to 4% of their global annual turnover or €20m – whichever is higher. Fines are tiered dependant on the case-specific level of non-compliance.

 

How will it affect you?

As a landlord, you will have personal data of your tenants. You must be aware of exactly where this is kept and ensure that it kept safely. Physical and digital records must be kept secure; digital data must be protected by passwords.

It's important to take time to consider how you're handling people's information with the background of why they gave that data to you in the first place. The spirit of GDPR is only to be handling and using people's information in a way that they would reasonably expect you to do so.

Furthermore, as a landlord you must define why you need your tenants’ personal data and be able to back this up with a lawful basis. This must be checked against the following rules:

  1. That you have the consent of the person whose data is recorded.

  2. That the data is necessary for the letting contract.

  3. That you are legally required to hold the information. (That is, no unnecessary data can be taken and recorded.)

  4. That you as the landlord can prove a ‘vital interest’ in passing data over to a third party, including utility companies or contact details to contractors.

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