New EU data protection legislation is due for introduction in May 2018. Property management software firm Arthur explains how this will affect landlords and letting agents.
If landlords and their letting agents are not complaint with the new data protection legislation, they could face fines of up to 4% of their turnover – so it’s essential you keep up to date.
The new legislation will affect the way that landlords and agents collect and use individuals’ personal data. Individuals will be given more protection under the new EU law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will replace the Data Protection Act 1998.
These new GDPR guidelines will strengthen individuals’ data protection rights, compared with the current legislation on personal data. Consent, profiling, transparency and administrative fines will all be up for public consultation ahead of the new data protection legislation being finalised and published.
The Managing Director of Arthur, Mark Trup, says: “Letting agents and landlords need to be aware of the changes to data protection, and should start putting in place the new measures that will be coming into effect next year.
“A key change is a ban of the use of pre-ticked opt-in boxes, which means failure to opt out will not constitute consent. Letting agents will need to keep clear records to demonstrate individuals’ consent.”
He continues: “Individuals must also explicitly agree to their data being used for different purposes. For example, the letting agents will need consent to pass on a tenant’s contact details to a contractor for maintenance work. Tenants could request that the letting agent or landlord wipe all their contact details from their records.
“Letting agents and landlords need to start creating new data privacy within their systems, as the new legislation is just six months away.”
Trup concludes: “The Information Commissioner’s Office is encouraging businesses to review how they are seeking, obtaining and recording consent, and whether they need to make any changes in the run up to the commencement of the regulations in May 2018.”
Are you aware of the new data protection legislation? If not, make sure you review your practices in line with the new laws.