Everything a Residential Landlord Needs to Know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Data Protection is a Serious Matter for Residential Landlords in the UK
Data protection compliance has become increasingly important for landlords and other private landlords in the UK due to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Failing to comply with the GDPR can have serious legal and financial implications, making it essential for landlords to understand the legislation and their obligations under it. This article provides an overview of the GDPR, its purpose and the biggest changes it made to the law, as well as the risks of non-compliance for residential landlords in the UK.
What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Economic Area (EEA). It was adopted in 2016 and came into force on 25 May 2018. The regulation applies to all companies and organisations processing personal data, regardless of whether they are based in the EEA or not. Its main objective is to give individuals control over their personal data while also protecting their right to privacy.
What was the Purpose of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
The purpose of the GDPR is to modernise existing data protection laws and ensure that individuals have control over their personal data. It also sets standards for data protection and privacy across the EEA, which must be followed by companies and organisations operating in the region. The regulation strengthens the rights of individuals, giving them more control over their data, and increases the responsibility of organisations to protect it.
What are the Biggest Changes Made to the Law by the GDPR?
The GDPR brought about a number of changes to existing data protection legislation in the UK.
• Expanded definition of personal data: The GDPR introduces a much broader definition of what constitutes ‘personal data’. This includes online identifiers such as IP addresses, biometric data and location data.
• Increased data protection rights: The GDPR gives individuals more control over their personal data, including the right to access, rectify, erase and restrict the processing of their data. It also gives individuals the right to object to the processing of their data and the right to data portability.
• Strengthened data protection principles: The GDPR strengthens existing data protection principles, such as data minimisation and data accuracy. It also introduces a new principle known as ‘data protection by design and default’, which requires organisations to design their systems and services with data protection in mind.
• Introduction of data protection officers: The GDPR introduces the requirement for organisations processing large amounts of personal data to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). The DPO will be responsible for ensuring that the organisation is compliant with the GDPR.
• Mandatory data breach notification: The GDPR introduces the requirement for organisations to notify individuals, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and other supervisory authorities in the event of a data breach.
• Increased fines for non-compliance: The GDPR increases the maximum fines for non-compliance from £500,000 to €20 million, or 4% of a company’s global annual turnover.
How Does the GDPR Impact Residential Landlords in the UK?
The GDPR has a direct impact on residential landlords in the UK. Landlords must ensure that they comply with the regulations when collecting and processing tenant data.
This includes collecting tenant data in accordance with the GDPR’s principles, such as data minimisation and data accuracy, as well as providing tenants with clear and easily accessible information about how their data will be used. Landlords must also update their data protection policies and procedures, and appoint a data protection officer if necessary.
What are the Risks of Non-Compliance for Residential Landlords in the UK?
The risks of non-compliance with the GDPR for residential landlords in the UK are significant. Failing to comply with the regulations can result in fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of a company’s global annual turnover, as well as reputational damage. Landlords who do not comply with the GDPR may also face legal action from tenants who have had their data misused or mishandled.
Information Commissioner’s Office website - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/