requesting document return from agency - legal position?

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    requesting document return from agency - legal position?

    I sent an application to an lettings agency plus full documents - bank statements (for guarantor), utility bills, passport photocopies etc

    When I called, they told me someone else had put in an application before they received mine, so I would not be considered. I therefore paid no fee for my application to be processed or to be credit checked.

    I asked them to return the paperwork & they told me that they would be keeping it on file for 6 months.

    Is anyone able to tell me if this is the 'correct' legal position. I'm just doing some research on this before writing any letters to them..

    Many thanks,
    Tina

    #2
    Your original documents belong to you. You sent them for a specific purpose and they are to be returned whether you are considered or not. You cant stop them from photocopying them obviously. What sort of file are they keeping on non-tenants let alone non-applicants?
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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      #3
      What are you trying to safeguard against?

      I would ask for and expect any original bills back, but apart from that, as explained above, they can take copies.
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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        #4
        Ask the agents to explain on what basis they think they are entitled to retain the documents and why refusing to return them after a request is not theft.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
          Ask the agents to explain on what basis they think they are entitled to retain the documents and why refusing to return them after a request is not theft.
          If I as an agent got asked the 2nd part of that question, I would tell them to phone the Police for clarification.
          Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

          Comment


            #6
            http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-righ...ample-letters/

            The second letter should generate some kind of favourable response.
            Disclaimer:

            The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.

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              #7
              yes, you're right - of course they can take copies; I'm not that bothered about my stuff, because I have nothing to hide - but the guarantor isn't comfortable with them holding bank statements - especially when they have no legitimate purpose to do so...

              I'm also interested in the agency's legal position though; there must be a law on this? should documents be returned if the original purpose of having them was never realised??

              perhaps I'm overanalysing.... thanks for all the replies - I'll decide between a letter or an impromptu visit (less time to photocopy...ha, ha)

              Comment


                #8
                i doubt they are in any position to refuse return of the documents. the documents were requested for a specific purpose which they have served (well, not in your case). Have they refused in writing?

                you can have your statements back, but like I said they can make copies of them. although i doubt they have any interest. I'm afraid that if your guarantor wanted to keep them private, he should have never sent them in the first place.
                All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The irony, of course, is that when you want a letting agent to show you a document relating to your tenant, they have either lost it, never asked for it in the first place or feel moved (wrongly) to invoke the Data Protection Act in an attempt to hide it from you.

                  This agent seems to be at the opposite end of the scale of secretarial efficiency...but equally irritating.
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                    #10
                    I'm sorry but the advice given so far is just plain wrong.

                    The OP applied for a property but the offer was withdrawn. The DPA is clear the information must only be kept as long as strictly necessary. There is no necessity here - OP should request it back and ask for clarification that no copies have been retained, or under which basis they are retaining the information.
                    Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

                    I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                      I'm sorry but the advice given so far is just plain wrong.
                      Not all the advice, surely - just some of it?
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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