Agents are data custodians
Collecting and managing data, and specifically personal data, is a key requirement of the role of all Propertymark members. It may be related to tenants, to buyers, to sellers and to employees. It comes in many different forms – emails, text messages, photographs, completed forms, photocopies of documents and in some cases, even faxes.
It provides an insight to the lives of clients, their name, address, telephone numbers, marital status, bank details, passport, utility bills, driving licence, medical information, the list is endless. Information is stored in many different places such as CRM systems, filing cabinets, telephones, and email systems.
Information may be shared with other organisations such as credit referencing agencies, maintenance companies, solicitors, accountants, and others. Agents use the information for a variety of purposes – AML checks, communicating with staff and clients, advertising, analysis.
It’s no wonder it can often seem a complex and daunting area to manage. Critically though, agents are the custodians of this information for their clients and staff members and therefore need to ensure that the information is treated in a way that respects the privacy of the individual and which is compliant with the various aspects of legislation and regulation in the UK.
Supporting our members
To enable members to better understand their obligations, a series of free webinars are scheduled throughout 2024. These will be delivered by our privacy partners at Risk Evolves, led by senior Data Protection Officers, Anna Walters, Andy Styles and Helen Barge.
The sessions will be interactive and last around an hour, with time for questions. Each event will provide practical guidance on establishing best practice, understanding how problems can be avoided and where help can be found.
- Q1 Webinar – Tuesday 9th January 24
- Q2 Webinar – Tuesday 4th June 24
- Q3 Webinar – Tuesday 10th September 24
- Q4 Webinar – Tuesday 12th November 24
No room for complacency
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the regulator for information rights in the UK. They report that they recently have received complaints from residents who have been failed by poor data protection practices from their housing association, company, or landlord – whether that’s inaccurate record-keeping, leading to anxiety, or necessary repairs being refused due to a misunderstanding about data sharing.