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Landlords and registering for data protection

In the UK, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the regulator for data to ensure openness where there is public interest, and data privacy for individuals. As a landlord you may be surprised that there is a good chance you need to register and pay an annual fee, or run the risk of a fine.

It's 'personal data' which is anything that can identify a person, being processed in a digital form such as on a PC, CCTV or a smart phone, that needs to be protected. This can include information such as a name, a photo, an email address (including work email address), bank details etc. If you are not 'processing' any personal data, you don't need to register. ‘Processing’ means doing any of the following with the information:

  • obtaining it;

  • recording it;

  • storing it;

  • updating it; and

  • sharing it.

We could explain the topic in more detail but instead we recommend using the ICO's simple online tool to assess your status. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

If you do need to register, it's relatively simple and at the end you need to pay the appropriate fee.