What landlords and property managers need to know about the impact of GDPRDATA hit the headlines in 2018, with the implementation of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – the new standard by which companies must deal with the personal information of their clients. While businesses are still trying to understand the full implications of the GDPR, it’s clear that its repercussions are set to be huge across every industry, especially property*.
Many property agencies will already have a comprehensive GDPR strategy in place but for some smaller landlords or agencies (particularly those who may manage one property or less), the GDPR can be a daunting process. Luckily, a few inexpensive tweaks to existing systems could be enough to ensure total GDPR compliance.
So what are the best ways to stay GDPR compliant?
- Leave a paper trail - maintaining detailed records is imperative when it comes to GDPR. You need to evidence exactly what you’ve done and when. Landlords and agents should include what decisions they’ve made around data protection and how they comply with the principles of data protection in any record-keeping.
- When you’re trying to implement a strategy around GDPR, the best thing is to map out how you intend to process it. Make sure you’re asking tenants reasonable questions, assess how you collect that information, how you store it and who has access to it. It’s also important to consider how you intend to dispose of it when it’s no longer relevant.
- It goes without saying that all stored data should be accurate, but you’d be surprised by how much inaccurate information is retained in company files. Inaccurate data should be disposed of or altered and all data storage should be time sensitive. A lot of tenant data should only be held for up to a year after the end of a tenancy, so landlords must take the necessary steps to dispose of the relevant information in a timely fashion.
- Assess and update your computer security. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean an expensive new system, but landlords should look at things like email storage and password strength to ensure they’re offering tenants adequate protection.
The GDPR is an enormous topic and its reach is only going to expand. As with all compliance issues, it’s always best to seek expert advice. For more information on GDPR and other compliance issues, why not download our FREE E-book, ’10 laws that property managers need to know’.
*There are some business exemptions from GDPR, for example companies that don’t use electronic equipment to process data. But given that all it takes is one smart telephone to negate this exception, it’s unlikely that any landlords or agents will meet the criteria to opt out of GDPR.