Data Protection talk from a landlord’s perspective

GPRLA – Data Protection talk from a landlord’s perspective

Rachel Masterton from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) gave us a talk on the requirements of landlords in the Data Protection (Guernsey) Law 2017 at our recent open meeting.  This was interesting and informative.

Rachel’s presentation document is posted on our website separately.

In a nutshell, there are 3 legal aspects that concern private landlords, as individuals in business.

1)      The requirement to register with the ODPC as a data controller at an annual fee (currently £50), though it could become a requirement in future, is currently exempt unless you have CCTV installed.  Note that if your property is part of a complex which has CCTV installed in the communal areas by a management company, you are still exempt unless it is also installed in your private area.

2)      The requirement for the landlord to have a Privacy Policy which explains to the tenant how the landlord will use their personal data and their rights under the data protection law.  This should be made available to the tenant at the time that he gives his data to the landlord, and certainly by the time the lease is signed.

Note that this is already required now for new tenancies, whereas for existing tenancies this requirement will not come into force until May 2019.  Once you have a Landlord’s  Privacy Policy in place you should provide it to your existing tenants.

3)      There is also a requirement to show that any data breaches are recorded and reported.  This is covered in the presentation including the link to a guidance document.

The OPDC are very approachable and reasonable, so they are happy for landlords to contact them with any questions.  There are also guidance notes available, and all this appears in the presentation.

However the GPRLA Council recognise that, even with the help of staff at ODPC, to produce a valid Landlord’s Privacy Policy is time-consuming and complex, requiring much thought, analysis and understanding of the requirements of the law.  Therefore we will be producing a GPRLA Landlord’s Privacy Policy which we will make available to our members in the members area of our website.  As a GPRLA member you will be able to download it and email to or print for your tenants as required. 

If you are a landlord but aren’t yet a GPRLA member please join us by going into our website and clicking on ‘Join’ then follow the instructions.

The Landlord’s Privacy Policy will take time to produce and when it is ready we will let you know.