Credit Checks and Data Protection

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    Credit Checks and Data Protection

    I left my house with a Letting Agent and was living abroad for almost 3 years.
    As well as buildings insurance I also had a Legal Expenses Policy, which covered excessive dilapidation cost (min. £1000 over and above Deposit).

    House was trashed and loads of stuff was missing, and Legal Insurance said they would support my claim against the tenants.
    Prior to proceeding they requested a copy of the Credit Check the Agent claimed to have, but he refused to give it.
    He claimed it was against the Data Protection Act without the tenants permission.
    A case officer from Data Protection told me the only thing that would compel the Agent to provide the check would be a Disclosure Order.

    I applied for a Pre Disclosure Hearing....
    The judge agreed with the Agent and dismissed the case.

    My Insurance is invalid. The Agent has also taken the Deposit out of the DPS scheme and won't give it to me .... can anybody help or advise ....

    #2
    If you looked after the property with no agent, you would see the credit checks.

    You "Employed" an agent to "Work for you", and any information they receive, on your behalf, is yours to see.

    The judge was wrong.

    But I can't elaborate any further. Others may.

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      #3
      What legal argument did you use? Were you represented by a solicitor?

      Comment


        #4
        This wasn't a guaranteed rent scheme/scam was it?? You hadn't granted a tenancy to the agent who then sublet to someone else??

        Contact your landlord association for further help.
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          #5
          Yes, that's what my Legal Insurance Help Line said. They said that indirectly I'd paid for the Credit Check as part of my fees, so if I wanted it, they should me have it.
          Agent said he'd have to take Legal Advice when Insurance Co. contacted him directly, then 'avoided' speaking to them. Eventually they gave up.
          That's when I contacted Information Commissioners Office re: Data Protection, and applied for the court order. .... to no avail. Just another waste of money.

          Thank for taking the trouble to reply.

          Comment


            #6
            I didn't have a solicitor in court with me, but had Legal Advice from my Legal Insurance Help Line.

            Argument was that information required for legal purposes. This is exempt re: Disclosure, according to Information Commissioners Office (Data Protection folk).
            However, according to CO, only a Disclosure Order, COMPELS disclosure. Hence I was seeking an order

            Comment


              #7
              No it wasn't a scam.

              I have a Legal help Line as part of my Legal Insurance so I get good legal advice.
              My adviser found the court outcome 'astonishing'!

              Thank you for replying

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                #8
                Yes, that's what Data Protection Case Worker thought Judge misunderstood.....
                Thank you for taking the trouble to reply.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by toniblue View Post
                  Argument was that information required for legal purposes. This is exempt re: Disclosure, according to Information Commissioners Office (Data Protection folk).
                  However, according to CO, only a Disclosure Order, COMPELS disclosure. Hence I was seeking an order
                  In such case indeed the information can be disclosed.
                  However, from your first post it is not clear why the information was necessary: Indeed you do not need this information to claim against the tenant for the damages.
                  If that was your argument, the judge may have reached a decision based on that.

                  I think it is difficult for someone who is not a solicitor to set up a compelling legal argument for court. It would have been useful to seek legal advice by consulting a solicitor.

                  I am by no mean qualified myself, however from my readings and the discussions on this topic on this forum it seems that the most compelling argument would have been to refer to the principal-agent relationship and to the law of agency that governs it.
                  Essentially, the agent is your employee and they have an obligation to share all they have. Data protection is not relevant (I can't refuse to share work-related documents with my boss because of the DPA, can I?).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good reply. Thanks. I needed the Credit Check for my legal Insurance co. They were prepared to pay all costs, but it was a requirement of the Insurance Schedule.

                    The brokers contacted the Agent prior to the policy being granted (I was abroad and time difference/cost of calling was difficult). They assured the Brokers - by email, that they had done a satisfactory Check.

                    I sent the email to the court with my application for the Order

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