jeremy cline

Data Protection - if you self-manage, you should probably register with the ICO

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I recently attended a training session at work on data protection (yes, it was as thrilling as it sounds) and it got me thinking, as a landlord who holds information digitally, what my obligations were and whether I needed to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).


I did a bit of Googling and also saw that there have been a few posts on the Hub about this but could not get a definitive answer so phoned up the ICO to ask for their advice.  This was the result:


1.  In my case, I use an agent on a fully-managed basis and the only information I have about my tenants is their names, address (obviously!), phone numbers and email addresses.  This information by itself is not enough to require registration.


2.  However, if I was ever to receive electronically/digitally any personal information about my tenants, I would need to register.  Such information would include any financial information or reference checks.


3.  If you self-manage and carry out your own reference checks then you need to register with the ICO if you receive or store anything digitally.  Maybe this is something everyone who self-manages does anyway but it was news to me!


4.  If you use a letting agent but receive digitally anything more than basic contact information about your tenants then you may also need to register.  Apparently this even applies if you receive something by email and then delete it.


5.  Registration is only necessary where information is received or stored electronically.  If you do everything in hard copy then there is no need to register, but I doubt many people do this these days!


6.  Registration costs £35 - not going to break the bank, but a mildly annoying expense.


Apologies if this is all common knowledge amongst Hubbers, but I thought it was worth mentioning.





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You're correct Jeremy - it is more tax raising by HMG as it is an annual fee.  It pays for some civil servants to process your data and do little more else

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