Privacy Notice FOR Tenants, Residents and guarantors
Data controller: HCGB Services Limited, 19 London House, High Street, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1SY
New GDPR regulation has been designed to enhance data protection for all individuals in relation to personal data and information held within the European Union. Our Privacy Notice contains important information about personal details we collect, what we do with this information, who we may share it with and why, and your choices and rights when it comes to personal information you have given us.
Home Club Limited is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you.
HCGB Services Limited (“The Agent”) collects, stores and processes personal data relating to tenants, residents and guarantors in order to provide property management services. This privacy notice sets down how the Agent collects and uses personal information about you before, during and after a tenancy.
The Agent is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. The Agent is committed to being clear and transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations.
2. Data Protection Principles
The Agent will comply with data protection law, including the Data Protection Act 2018. This means that the personal information we hold about you must be:
· Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way;
· Collected only for valid purposes that we have explained to you clearly and not used in any way that is incompatible with these purposes;
· Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited to those purposes only;
· Accurate and kept up to date;
· Kept only for such time as is necessary for the purposes we have told you about; and
· Kept securely.
3. What information does the Agent collect and process?
A key element of the new regulation is transparency in terms of providing accessible information about how we process personal information. We collect personal data from you which you volunteer when you provide such personal data to us, or via your engagement with our services. We may also be given other personal data relating to you by other persons, or we may obtain such other personal data about you as may be provided to us in the course of our legitimate business activities.
For compliance with AML (Anti money Laundering) obligations we are required to obtain your passport or driving licence. We may also process other data, which is not personal data.
The Agent collects and processes a range of personal information (personal data) about you. Personal data means any information about an individual from which the person can be identified.
· Identity and personal contact details, such as your name, title, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, national insurance number, car registration;
· Background information such as previous landlord details, employer details, employer references, accountant details, next of kin, dependants and emergency contacts;
· Bank account details, bank references and credit check results;
· Tenancy details including renewals, joint tenants, other residents and guarantors;
· Tenancy deposit information (if any) including return on tenancy termination;
· Immigration / right to rent checks (England only)
· Rent and utilities payment records;
· Recovery of arrears, claims or possession proceedings;
· Repair and health and safety records;
· Breach of tenancy terms/complaints
· Council tax and utilities records;
· Housing Assistance Programme records;
· Notices and correspondence regarding termination of tenancy;
· CCTV and audio recordings (if any); and
· General correspondence in all formats (letters, emails, text messages etc).
We may also collect, store and use the following special categories of more sensitive personal information:
· Information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which the Agent needs to make adaptations.
The Agent collects this information from a variety of sources. For example, data is collected from you directly through the tenancy application process and through correspondence during the tenancy. The Agent also generates its own records such as rent payment records.
We install CCTV in some of our premises for security purposes. The relevant premises have clear signs indicating that CCTV is in use. Cameras are placed at exit and entrance locations only.
In some cases, the Agent may collect personal data about you from third parties, such as:
· References supplied by former landlords, employers and personal referees;
· Information from credit reference agencies;
· Other tenants, residents or neighbours;
· Local authorities;
· CCTV recordings;
· The police or other law enforcement agencies;
· Department for Work and Pensions
· Utility companies or service providers;
· Letting/managing agents; and
· Websites or online rental portals.
Data is stored in a range of different places, including in paper files and in the Agent’s IT systems (including the Agent's email system).
4. Why does the Agent process personal data?
The Agent needs to process data to consider applications for tenancy agreements and manage tenancies. This processing is on the basis of contractual obligations or the need to take pre-contractual steps relating to the tenancy agreement.
In addition, the Agent needs to process data to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations.
In other cases, the Agent has a legitimate interest in processing personal data before, during and after the end of the landlord/tenant relationship, such as for record-keeping, analysis of tenancy arrangements, disputes and investigations, marketing communications and other legitimate interest purposes.
5. Situations in which we will use your personal information
Situations in which we will process your personal information are listed below:
· To verify the identity of a proposed tenant/resident;
· To decide on the suitability of a proposed tenant/resident;
· To assess the financial standing/suitability of a proposed tenant/resident;
· To check immigration status/right to rent (England only)
· To deal with joint tenants and residents who are linked to the tenancy;
· To enter into a tenancy agreement
· To secure payment of rent and performance of tenant obligations;
· To collect rent and other payments;
· To manage the tenancy and the property;
· To keep accurate records relating to the Agent’s rental business;
· To arrange repairs and maintenance of the property;
· To monitor and enforce performance of tenant’s obligations;
· To recover debts and/or obtain possession of a property;
· To ensure Council Tax and utilities charges are billed and paid appropriately;
· To ensure that welfare benefits (such as Universal Credit and housing benefit) are paid to the landlord or tenant where appropriate;
· To handle tenancy termination and the return of any tenancy deposit;
· To handle complaints;
· To address health and disability issues relating to tenants/residents;
· To create and keep audio and CCTV recordings for record-keeping and security purposes (respectively);
· To provide information to public or local authorities who are legally entitled to require this information;
· To contact next of kin or close relatives in case of emergency;
· To store of emails, records of calls and other communications;
· To comply with legal and regulatory requirements;
· To bring and defend legal claims; and
· To prevent, detect and investigate crime and anti-social behaviour.
6. If you fail to provide personal information
If you do not prove certain information when requested, the Agent may not be able to proceed with the grant of a tenancy agreement. We do not rely on consent as a processing ground for the tenancy agreement.
7. Change of purpose
The Agent will only use your personal information for the purpose for which it was collected and in accordance with this privacy notice, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will advise you of this and explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
You should be aware that we may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent where this is required or permitted by law.
8. Use of sensitive personal information
Some special categories of personal data, such as information about health or medical conditions, are processed to comply with legal obligations (for example, in relation to tenants/residents with disabilities and for health and safety purposes).
9. For how long do you keep data?
The Agent will only hold your personal data for as long as is necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including any legal, accounting or reporting requirements. The period for which your data is held after the end of a tenancy is seven years. The period for which your data is held following an unsuccessful tenancy application is one year. We retain audio and CCTV recordings for one year.
10. Who is data shared with?
Your information will be shared internally.
The Agent also shares your data with third parties where required by law, where it is necessary in order to administer the relationship with you or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so. Information can be shared with:
· The owner of the property (the “Landlord”)
· Professional advisers, including LRC Management Europe Ltd (its finance, portfolio management, asset management and compliance teams), solicitors and accountants;
· Freeholder and/or their managing agent (for property in block of flats);
· Existing or previous landlords;
· Existing or previous employers;
· Credit referencing agencies;
· Debt collectors and tracing services;
· Local authorities and government/public bodies;
· Ombudsman/redress schemes;
· Professional body/regulator;
· Police/enforcement agencies;
· Banks/building societies;
· Tenant’s/resident’s next of kin or close relatives in case of emergency;
· Joint tenants and other residents;
· Tenancy Deposit Schemes;
· Housing Assistance Programme benefit/other benefit administrator;
· Revenue Commissioners;
· Council Tax authority;
· Contractors and trades people providing services at the property or involved in the administration and scheduling thereof;
· Prospective purchasers of property;
· Other landlords including where you apply to another landlord for a tenancy; and
· Payment institutions, including the provision of one or more payment accounts, the processing of electronic payment transactions, access to account information services and access to payment initiation services.
The Agent will not transfer your data to countries outside the European Economic Area and United Kingdom.
11. How does the Agent protect data?
The Agent takes the security of your data seriously. The Agent has internal policies and controls in place to prevent your data being lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed. Details of these measures are available on request. We review the security measures and improve them as reasonably necessary.
When the Agent engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.
12. Your duty to inform us of changes
It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please be sure to keep us informed if your personal information changes during the tenancy application process or during the course of a tenancy.
13. Your Rights
As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:
· access and obtain a copy of your data on request (known as a “data subject access request”);
· require the Landlord to change incorrect or incomplete data;
· request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask the Landlord to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
· object to the processing of your data where the Agent is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
· ask the Agent to suspend the processing of your personal data for a period of time if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
14. Changes to this Privacy Notice
We reserve the right to change this Privacy Notice from time to time in our sole discretion. Changes may be necessary if, for example, if the law changes or if there are changes in our business in a way that affects personal data protection. If we make any changes, we will post those changes on our website so that you can see what information we gather, how we might use that information and in what circumstances we may disclose it. By continuing to use our site or our services or otherwise provide data after we post any such changes, you accept and agree to this Privacy Notice as modified. This Privacy Notice was last updated on 29-Sept-21.
If you would like to exercise any of these rights, or you have any questions about the privacy notice, please contact Natalie Byrne, Operations Manager.
We will aim to respond within a month, but the response may take up to three months depending on the nature of your request. Please note that all of your rights are qualified by legal restrictions and exemptions and we will explain these to you, as appropriate, when we respond.
If you believe that the Agent has not complied with your data protection rights, you can raise a concern with us directly and we will endeavour to respond promptly. You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.