'Dodging' ICO registration requirements for landlords - how many are doing it?

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    'Dodging' ICO registration requirements for landlords - how many are doing it?

    A conversation with a client this morning turned to the matter of landlords having to register with the ICO, pay an annual fee and so on. This gentlemen revealed he deliberately hadn't registered, and to avoid any come back was not holding any personal information on his tenants in any kind of electronic format, even going so far as to delete them from his mobile phone contacts and have their details written in a book instead. He only keeps paper copies of ASTs, referencing reports and so on. As far as I can work out what he's doing is perfectly fine and legal. I was wondering if he is an aberration or if this is something common? Or, of course, if LLs even know that they should be registering!?

    #2
    The GDPR applies to data held in a paper system as well as data held electronically.
    It covers personal data processed in any kind of system, which would include a book or copies of tenancy agreements filed in a way that allows them to be retrieved.
    It also covers any data on a phone prior to deletion (bearing in mind that it's almost impossible to actually delete something from a phone).

    The idea that data protection applies only to electronic data is wrong, but widely held to be the case.
    So what he is doing is not at all fine and legal, but unlikely to have any consequences in real life.

    For it to be a problem, someone would have to complain to the ICO and they would have to investigate and then make a finding against them.
    There are a lot of people in the queue ahead of your client.

    I don't know what service you provide for your client, but if it involves collecting or holding any of the personal data they go on to store, your data protection processes may be impacted.

    Put it this way, I can't imagine having any interaction with the ICO at any point, but am registered as a data controller (and pay the stupid, small fee each year).
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
      The GDPR applies to data held in a paper system as well as data held electronically.
      It covers personal data processed in any kind of system, which would include a book or copies of tenancy agreements filed in a way that allows them to be retrieved.
      It also covers any data on a phone prior to deletion (bearing in mind that it's almost impossible to actually delete something from a phone).

      The idea that data protection applies only to electronic data is wrong, but widely held to be the case.
      So what he is doing is not at all fine and legal, but unlikely to have any consequences in real life.

      For it to be a problem, someone would have to complain to the ICO and they would have to investigate and then make a finding against them.
      There are a lot of people in the queue ahead of your client.

      I don't know what service you provide for your client, but if it involves collecting or holding any of the personal data they go on to store, your data protection processes may be impacted.

      Put it this way, I can't imagine having any interaction with the ICO at any point, but am registered as a data controller (and pay the stupid, small fee each year).
      I think you're mixing up GDPR and ICO registration requirements. I'm not a lawyer obviously but my understanding of the matter is that if you're not processing the data electronically then you don't have to register.

      Comment


        #4
        I'm not mixing up the ICO registration requirements and GDPR.
        If you're a data controller as defined by the GDPR, you have to register with the ICO (in the UK).

        There are good interactive guides on the ICO website.

        I can't see how you can credit refer someone without processing personal data (even if you don't keep it, the reference agent will - and the person who caused the collection of the data is a data processor).
        Putting someone's details into a mobile phone is processing personal data (as, ironically, is deleting it).

        However - " [personal data] only includes paper records if you plan to put them on a computer (or other digital device) or file them in an organised way."
        A book and/or any filing system is "an organised way".

        As noted, it probably doesn't matter in practice.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          See for yourself: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations...lf-assessment/

          Comment


            #6
            Yes, I know.
            It's wrong.
            I forgot that but when I called the interactive guides good - someone's pointed out that page before.

            Another government guide to the law that wrongly states the correct legal position.
            What can I say?

            I've spent years (actually decades now) dealing with organisations and personal data.
            Your client is in no worse position than many very large organisations in the UK.

            How many actual ICO cases have you ever heard of relating to this?
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              I did the registration thing waste of time, even ico said there's nothing they will do anyway but a telling off and she even said it was debatable if I needed it I won't be getting it again, even my tenants don't know about it

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

                How many actual ICO cases have you ever heard of relating to this?
                None whatsoever!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by visum View Post
                  None whatsoever!
                  Me neither (Facebook and Leave.EU aren't exactly at our end of the GDPR!)

                  The issue is a frustrating one, because the answer is that your client should register, but there's almost no obvious downside to not registering and they save £35 a year.

                  I'm slightly more cautious.

                  Tell you why.
                  Until recently, while a gas safety certifcate was an annual requirement, even if a tenant complained, non-complaince was essentially a stern letter unless the property blew up (which, again, didn't crop up much in real life).
                  Lots of landlords saved the £50 or so per year - plus all the messing about with a tenant who couldn't care less.

                  Recently, the regulations changed and made the gas safety certificate essential for s21, and it works retrospectively, so if you weren't compliant at the start of the tenancy, no s21 can be valid ever.

                  Similarly, no tenant ever looks at an EPC, and no one has ever cared whether they saw one or not (other than a conveyancer with a box to check).
                  I don't even think there was a stern letter if there was no compliance.
                  And now, again, that's essential for s21 (even if you can fix that issue by serving it late).

                  Things that are currently not a big issue have a habit of coming back to bite.
                  If you're hyper compliant, at least you have a chance.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Any chance of your next thread being on............
                    Originally posted by visum View Post
                    'Dodging' paying rent in-full & on-time requirements for tenants - how many are doing it?
                    Cheers!

                    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...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

                      If you're hyper compliant, at least you have a chance.
                      That should be every landlord's screen saver!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                        Any chance of your next thread being on............

                        Cheers!
                        I don't think tenants need any more help with that.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It's clear that the government think that you are exempt from paying the fee if you don't use a computer - they recently had a consultation including exactly this issue.
                          https://assets.publishing.service.go...ultation_L.pdf

                          "To remove this exemption is likely to place significant burdens upon the small organisations that fall within this group. Accordingly, the Government is of the view that this exemption should remain."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post


                            Things that are currently not a big issue have a habit of coming back to bite.
                            If you're hyper compliant, at least you have a chance.
                            I have to agree with this sentiment. The only data I hold on tenants is paper copies of the AST and paper copies of ID docs for RTR rules and their phone numbers on my phone. I have registered with ICO and paid the fee even though the ICO website says I do not need to register!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                              It's clear that the government think that you are exempt from paying the fee if you don't use a computer - they recently had a consultation including exactly this issue.
                              Sometimes I get the impression that the government may not actually know what it's doing.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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