So, what is GDPR?
The analytical department of WOPT has deduced with great scientific and complete conjectural accuracy that 97.42% of all emails currently received are from companies that you purchased a candle from 12-years ago asking you to stay in touch with them.
This is because In the past when you looked online at something like a lightbulb all relevant and often irrelevant companies were informed through data sharing. The outcome was random emails or pop-ups from ‘Lightbulbs ‘R’ Us’, ‘We buy any old lightbulb.com’ and the life and times of Thomas Eddison.
Great news for us, GDPR is designed to stop this
GDPR stands for ‘General Data Protection Regulations’, and in a nutshell, it’s the new European wide rules that will ultimately govern what information or data an organisation or individual can hold on other people and how they can ultimately use such information. It prevents companies or individuals from sharing and selling your personal data and browsing preferences.
What does it change for us?
Not much really for our community (landlords and property managers).
You will need to be a little bit more thorough and robust with your data handling, have a think through where and how you store others’ data and what you do with it.
If you are just using the information to run your property empire, then there shouldn’t be any change. There are five reasons (shown here on our free ‘privacy statement’ template) why you can hold and process data, and they apply to you broadly as follows.
You will receive ‘consent’ to hold and process data on your application forms.
If the applicant is successful, you have a ‘legitimate interest’ to hold and process data about them and their tenancy.
That’s great, but what do I need to do?
To make it simple, think about the information you hold and what you do with it. The RLA has produced an excellent article if you want to get right into the detail. CLICK HERE
Although you should already be registered, it is important that, if not you now register with the ICO
How does it affect the information I hold?
You will need to be clear about exactly what you are holding, how you are protecting it and how long you keep it for.
The first bit, what you are holding, is fairly straightforward but you may get asked by a client or tenant about what you hold on them. You have a time limit on getting back to them with this info. Currently this is 30 days.
You then need to make sure you are holding it in GDPR compliant repositories.
We use cloud data storage, property management software and a referencing company. All have declared GDPR compliance.
There are also time limits as to how long you hold the data for so have a plan to have a good clear out every now and again.
So thats it! That’s what all the fuss is about?
Well yes and no, our article only covers how the changes will affect us as landlords or property managers, it is far more complicated for larger organisations, but that’s none of our concern here.
We suggest, like we always do at WOPT, to do your due diligence and if you are in any doubt seek further advice. The rules are new and whizzy so no doubt the ‘no-win no-fee’ brigades are looking for an angle.
Be thorough with your business administration – see our article about systemising your business for more ideas.
Just one final piece of mitigation before we leave you
If you decide to pass on your tenants info to a far eastern prince, who emailed you out of the blue, because he needs this information to get a large ‘tax-free’ cash sum out of his country and into your bank account then we can only wish you the very best of luck, not even the careful guidance of WOPT can save you here!!