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    • Adams110
    • By Adams110 11th Oct 17, 8:22 PM
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    Adams110
    Letting Agency Data protection?
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 17, 8:22 PM
    Letting Agency Data protection? 11th Oct 17 at 8:22 PM
    Wednesday 11 October 2017 7:08:32 pm
    Firstly, I hope Iíve posted this in the right place.

    Recently I applied to rent a house with some land negotiable adjacent. The letting agent took ID details, bank statements, references (18 of them) from my wife and I. After a while they got back to us and said the Landlord had decided to rent it all separately. The agent said he had sent all of our details to him and the lando net had decided to go with a local guy (we were from out of area) and we accepted this. Luckily we had another to go for and we got that sorted quickly.

    On reflection, is it legal for our bank statements and passport details to be sent to a landlord for consideration? Surely this should have been taken after we were accepted in principle?

    I have emailed the agent (3 times in last 10 days) to ask for all emails and our private data to be deleted from his and landlords computers. I was polite, but donít like the idea of my most private or information being shared and just left for hackers to get hold of.

    Iíve had no reply.

    Am I being paranoid? Or
    1) do they have the legal right to take id and bank statements and references without us being accepted for property?
    2) do I have the right to ask for all emails/information on myself to be disclosed?
    3) can they simply refuse to delete my data?

    Hope someone can help!
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Oct 17, 9:30 PM
    • 42,221 Posts
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:30 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:30 PM
    The agent is simply acting for the LL.

    You applied to the LL, via the agent, to rent his property. How ccan he decide whether to accept your appliction or not without revewing the information you provided to him via his agent?
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 11th Oct 17, 9:30 PM
    • 3,436 Posts
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    Fosterdog
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:30 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:30 PM
    They are not going to accept you for a property without you giving the info they need to check. As for the details being sent to the landlord, the agent is acting on behalf of the landlord so yes they should disclose everything to their client for them to then make a decision.

    On to your questions
    1) It’s not illegal for them to ask you to provide this info, if you don’t like it just refuse but you will almost certainly then be rejected for failing to provide what they requested. As mentioned they can’t accept you without running the checks, it’s a bit late after they accept you.

    2) Disclosed to who? You could submit a subject to access request which will cost £10 but some of the data may be confidential as it would breach the landlords confidentiality if they shared emails between them both. What do you hope to gain by finding out what emails have been sent?

    3)It will depend on whether any of the data needs to be stored for auditing purposes, ultimately you can request deletion and they can ignore you and you have no way of knowing whether they have done it or not.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 11th Oct 17, 9:31 PM
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    Slithery
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:31 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 17, 9:31 PM
    Who did you think the agents were going to show the reference to?

    It's the landlord that decides who to let the property to, how can he do this without seeing references? Getting them after making the decision would be pointless.
    • Adams110
    • By Adams110 11th Oct 17, 10:16 PM
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    Adams110
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:16 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 17, 10:16 PM
    Happy to provide references. But was concerned for safety as passport, bank details and addresses kept on an agents pc is a security risk. Or am I being paranoid.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 12th Oct 17, 6:33 AM
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    Fosterdog
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 6:33 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 6:33 AM
    You are being paranoid, if you were that concerned about how they would handle your data you shouldn’t have handed it over in the first place. It does sound like you are a bit bitter about not being offered the property and now want to make things difficult for them.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th Oct 17, 10:02 AM
    • 1,943 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:02 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:02 AM
    To answer your third question:

    3) can they simply refuse to delete my data?
    If the data is no longer required, you are entitled to ask them to delete it. The best way to go about this would be a polite email asking them to delete records of your bank details and passport from their system.

    If they keep personal data longer than reasonably necessary they would be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 12th Oct 17, 10:10 AM
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    LEJC
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:10 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:10 AM
    Have your personal details and bank statement copies definitely been passed to the LL?

    I can only comment on how my particular letting agent works for me as a LL....they review the prospective tenant....give me a run down and ask for a decision.

    Yes some generic details are discussed over affordability but I have never been even given the prospective tenants name prior to agreeing let alone a bank statement.

    In saying that your details were passed to the LL it may be better to establish if this was actually the case or whether the conversation centred around the LA proposing tenant 1 against tenant 2 and the LL deciding on the other application not yours.
    Last edited by LEJC; 12-10-2017 at 10:13 AM.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 17, 10:18 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
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    Comms69
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:18 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 10:18 AM
    Have your personal details and bank statement copies definitely been passed to the LL?

    I can only comment on how my particular letting agent works for me as a LL....they review the prospective tenant....give me a run down and ask for a decision.

    Yes some generic details are discussed over affordability but I have never been even given the prospective tenants name prior to agreeing let alone a bank statement. - Why not? It could be someone you don't want to let to?!

    In saying that your details were passed to the LL it may be better to establish if this was actually the case or whether the conversation centred around the LA proposing tenant 1 against tenant 2 and the LL deciding on the other application not yours.
    Originally posted by LEJC


    If all of it wasn't passed on to the LL, I'd be surprised.


    That said, I'd never give a bank statement to anyone.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 12th Oct 17, 10:29 AM
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    LEJC
    If all of it wasn't passed on to the LL, I'd be surprised.


    That said, I'd never give a bank statement to anyone.
    Originally posted by Comms69
    I don't want to take the thread off topic...but would be grateful if you might specify how to quantify"someone I wouldn't want to rent to"...

    Will knowing a persons name,gender or who they bank with have a real impact over the decision....
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 17, 10:34 AM
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    Comms69
    I don't want to take the thread off topic...but would be grateful if you might specify how to quantify"someone I wouldn't want to rent to"...

    Will knowing a persons name,gender or who they bank with have a real impact over the decision....
    Originally posted by LEJC


    gladly, someone you know, or know of, that you would not want to rent to.


    Either for reasons such as - I know they're not good with money, or they snogged my gf back in high school, or he's known for drug use, or whatever!


    Or - I know them and it could be awkward if I need to evict, or they're late paying rent, or whatever.


    (but nice try on the whole- this poster must be xenophobic or sexist if they base their decision on someone's name)
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Oct 17, 10:38 AM
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    G_M
    Have your personal details and bank statement copies definitely been passed to the LL?

    I can only comment on how my particular letting agent works for me as a LL....they review the prospective tenant....give me a run down and ask for a decision.
    That's because that is what you've instructed the agent to do for you. Either explicitly, or implicitly.

    Yes some generic details are discussed over affordability but I have never been even given the prospective tenants name prior to agreeing let alone a bank statement.
    Originally posted by LEJC
    Some landlords don't get involved at all. Think overseas landlords for example. They instruct their agent to make the decision for them.

    Other LLs (myself for example) only use agents to identify potential tenants (using their marketing reach), and then do the entire vetting/decision-making process themselves.

    And others (like you) do something in between, intructing their agent to do some of the vetting work but leaving the final decision to the LL, based on..... whatever information that LL demands their agent provide them.

    Agents often give the impression that LLs have little choice in the services they provide ("this is what we do....."), whereas in reality it is the LL who is paying, and the LL who should be specifying the service he wants.


    * Letting agents: how should a landlord select or sack?
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 12th Oct 17, 10:40 AM
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    LEJC
    Oh so you you mean to suggest that some LL's are influenced by hearsay and are too small minded to make an informed judgement.

    And in the case of someone known from schooldays...isn't everyone entitled to grow up!
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 17, 10:47 AM
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    Comms69
    Oh so you you mean to suggest that some LL's are influenced by hearsay and are too small minded to make an informed judgement.

    And in the case of someone known from schooldays...isn't everyone entitled to grow up!
    Originally posted by LEJC


    Absolutely. Given the costs involved when things go wrong, I would expect any professional landlord to take on board all available information.


    I fail to see how they can make an 'informed' judgment when they do not have all the information. You're kind of contradicting yourself.


    Yes they are entitled to grow up, but they do not have a 'right' to rent your property. Would you want to rent your house to that ex, who cheated on you? Or that mate you owes you £300 and doesn't answer his phone? or whatever?
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 12th Oct 17, 10:51 AM
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    LEJC
    no ex in my cupboard and if I had been in the position to have lent someone some money and they were not answering their phone...at least I would know where they lived!

    but we digress so back top the OP and their topic.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 17, 10:53 AM
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    Comms69
    no ex in my cupboard and if I had been in the position to have lent someone some money and they were not answering their phone...at least I would know where they lived!

    but we digress so back top the OP and their topic.
    Originally posted by LEJC
    I think you can see my point though. There's no harm in knowing who exactly is moving in.
    • LEJC
    • By LEJC 12th Oct 17, 11:04 AM
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    LEJC
    I see the point you are trying to make I think....I just disagree with you ...based on the type of thing you are suggesting as valid reasons to reject a potential tenant.

    In the case of the OP I originally didnt understand their need to request removal of their personal information from databases etc as I was assuming that not all LL's go feel the need to know if they have a direct debit to a magazine subscription on their bank statement that would indicate they have a hobby or pastime that would prevent "a LL" renting to them.
    It now possibly transpires that there could be some LL's who do infact use exactly this senario to reject...or indeed the other possibilities you suggest.

    Clearly there are no set rules on what is acceptable or fair when choosing a tenant and perhaps thats what the OP hopefully now understands

    I still maintain that as a LL I need to know that my tenant will be able to fulfil the contract...my judgement is not clouded by whether they are newcommers to the area or whether they once snogged someone at school....relationship or gender dislike,religious beleif,ethnicity ....where do you then draw the line without overstepping it.
    Last edited by LEJC; 12-10-2017 at 11:09 AM.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 160 out 139 in ...£18.64 spend
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 12th Oct 17, 11:17 AM
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    • 1,003 Thanks
    Comms69
    I see the point you are trying to make I think....I just disagree with you ...based on the type of thing you are suggesting as valid reasons to reject a potential tenant.

    In the case of the OP I originally didnt understand their need to request removal of their personal information from databases etc as I was assuming that not all LL's go feel the need to know if they have a direct debit to a magazine subscription on their bank statement that would indicate they have a hobby or pastime that would prevent "a LL" renting to them.
    It now possibly transpires that there could be some LL's who do infact use exactly this senario to reject...or indeed the other possibilities you suggest.

    Clearly there are no set rules on what is acceptable or fair when choosing a tenant and perhaps thats what the OP hopefully now understands

    I still maintain that as a LL I need to know that my tenant will be able to fulfil the contract...my judgement is not clouded by whether they are newcommers to the area or whether they once snogged someone at school....relationship or gender dislike,religious beleif,ethnicity ....where do you then draw the line without overstepping it.
    Originally posted by LEJC
    That last list (in red) would be unlawful discrimination in any case, but certainly other factors I think are perfectly valid
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