This privacy notice tells you what to expect when we collect and store personal information.
It tells you why and how we will process your personal information and the legal basis for the processing (‘processing’ includes us keeping your personal information).
Why we use your data
During your tenancy, we will collect and process information about you and the members of your household.
We use your data to:
- be able to contact you and respond to you directly
- assess applications and set up your tenancy or leasehold and carry out any relevant necessary checks
- manage your tenancy, leasehold, property, and housing revenue account (HRA) property it relates to (including carrying out repairs, notifying utility companies and local authorities)
- monitor compliance with the terms of your tenancy or service agreement, investigate and report issues (for example, tenancy fraud or anti-social behaviour)
- share information with other agencies where we have your agreement, are required to do so, or where doing so gives effect to the tenancy or leasehold agreement
- investigate and resolve complaints and queries raised by residents and others
- comply with our safeguarding and health and safety duties
- deliver support for special needs to you or any member of your household
- provide information about extra services we offer, including opportunities to participate in meetings, training, employment services, youth services and events
- complete consultations, facilitate residents' groups and community grant applications
- conduct transactional surveys to monitor and improve our service (for example, repairs and maintenance, complaints, lettings, anti-social behaviour issues and training)
- monitor equality and diversity
- provide information about our performance and services through newsletters and email campaigns
- verify your identity so that we can give you access to your Housing Online account
- share information with our payment gateways to enable payments to be taken online via the Housing Online portal.
Unless we tell you otherwise, we will only collect and process personal information to carry out these functions.
Legal process for processing personal data
All processing of personal data must have a legal basis.
The most common legal bases for these are:
- where we need to take measures to enter into and perform a contract (provision of services set out in a tenancy or leasehold agreement)
- where we need to comply with legal obligations (for example housing regulations, health and safety, safeguarding, tenancy or fraud investigation)
- where it is necessary for our legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and your interests and rights do not override those interests (for example maintaining security of our property, customer satisfaction surveys and market research).
We may also use your personal data when:
- we have your consent (for example provision of additional benefits or services, information gathered through feedback or surveys)
- we need to protect your vital interests (or someone else’s vital interests)
- the processing is necessary in the public interest or for official purposes (for example monitoring of diversity and equality and where we work with local authorities).
Processing of sensitive personal data
Some personal data is more sensitive than other data.
Special category data needs extra protections.
Special category data includes:
- sex life
- sexual orientation
- religious beliefs
- political affiliations
- biometric data
- criminal convictions.
This includes additional conditions set out in legislation for processing the data.
Where possible, we will try to get your consent to process sensitive personal data.
In cases where consent may not be appropriate the following conditions for processing may apply:
- legal obligations relating to social security and social protection (especially where we act on behalf of local authorities)
- vital interests (for example, where your life or that of someone else is in danger and you are not able to give your consent)
- safeguarding of people at risk (including children)
- monitoring equality of opportunity or treatment (where the data isn’t used to make decisions on particular people).
Examples of where we may need to process your sensitive personal data are to:
- process pre-tenancy checks
- determine eligibility for special needs housing
- offer aids and adaptions to your property
- offer suitable alternative properties where needed
- manage risks (for example fire, health and safety)
- safely carry out repairs and maintenance
- respond to enquiries and complaints.
To process personal data about criminal convictions or offences we must have both a lawful basis for the processing and either legal authority or official authority for the processing.
Who we might share your personal information with
We collect personal data directly from you, but in some cases we also receive personal data from:
- government bodies
- local authorities
- third party suppliers
- other individuals
- partner organisations (for example, where we work with other parties to provide services, for investigating a complaint).
Normally, only appropriate Housing Services staff will be able to see and process your personal information.
However, there will be occasions when we will need to share personal information with third parties or where we are legally required to do so.
When sharing personal information, we will comply with all aspects of the GDPR.
Special categories of personal data are subject to particularly stringent security and confidentiality measures.
We also share information to:
- allow us to tailor our services to you
- detect possible fraud (for example, as part of the National Fraud Initiative)
- deal with rent arrears (for example, tracing or debt collection agencies)
- deal with unpaid bills (for example, utility or Council Tax bills - we may need to pass on your forwarding address)
- help us communicate with you (for example we sometimes use external printers or translators)
- assist the police in solving crime and investigating anti-social behaviour.
As part of the government’s reform of welfare benefits, new regulations have been introduced on information sharing.
This means we can now share limited information about our residents and their properties with local authorities.
Some of the information we can share is:
- National Insurance number.
The new regulations will help us find and support those who could be affected by welfare reform.
We will also share your personal details, if required to do so, by law or by any government body.
Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Housing Services contracts external companies to manage certain areas of our business to fulfil our obligations as a landlord.
We share limited personal information of our residents with external contractors, such as:
- telephone number.
Some of the external contractors we have are:
- repairs and maintenance contractors
- out of hours call centres
- health and safety compliance services (for example, gas servicing, lifts, asbestos, legionella).
We will only share the minimum information necessary for the contractor to carry out their services on our behalf.
We will also ensure that data sharing agreements are in place, where we are sharing personal data with data processors.
If you have any concerns about a company operating on our behalf or information that has been shared with an external company, please email email@example.com.
Why we can use your data
We can use your data if it is a legal obligation or public task under various UK laws including but not limited to:
- The Housing Acts 1988, 1996, 2002, 2004
- The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
- The Localism Act 2011
- The Protection from Eviction Act 1977
- The Equality Act 2010.
Who we can share your data with
We can share your data with:
- judicial agencies such as courts
- police and other crime enforcement agencies
- health agencies
- education providers
- other local authorities
- immigration service
- government departments (for example, HMRC or DWP)
- safeguarding bodies
- contractors providing housing services (for example, plumbing, electricians etc, and IT services)
- utility services
- elected members and MPs (as your representative)
- funding bodies
- Cabinet Office (national fraud initiative exercise).
How we manage your personal information
We process your personal information in accordance with GDPR.
We will treat your personal information fairly and lawfully and we will ensure that information is:
- processed for limited purpose
- kept up to date, accurate, relevant and not excessive
- not kept longer than is necessary
- kept secure.
Access to personal information is restricted to authorised individuals on a strictly need to know basis.
We are committed to keeping your personal details up to date, and we encourage you to inform us about any changes.
To help us ensure confidentiality of your personal information we will ask you security questions to confirm your identity when you call us.
We will not discuss your personal information with anyone other than you, unless:
- you have given us prior authorisation to do so
- doing so is authorised by legislation (for example, cooperating with law enforcement agencies)
- it is necessary to comply with a legal obligation.
We will only hold your personal information for as long as necessary for business purposes or if we are required to keep it by law.
You can ask to see what data we hold about you and ask to be sent a copy. This is called a subject access request (SAR).
A SAR is free unless there is a lot of work or photocopying and postage, which we are allowed to charge a reasonable fee for.
You can also ask us:
- to correct your data if you think it is wrong
- to stop using your data if you think we no longer should be using it
- to stop using your data if you think it is wrong, until it’s put right
- to not use automated processing with your data
- for any automated portable electronic data file we hold about you to be sent to another organisation
- to consider any complaint you have about how we have used your data.
Make an information request
Find out how to make an information request.
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
If you are unhappy with how the council has answered your complaint, you can contact the ICO.
You can contact them by: