Landlords and agents who process personal data (for example of tenants) must register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and pay the necessary fee.
Landlords who rent out property even where there is only one property in the portfolio are running a business for the purposes of this registration requirement. Therefore, landlords need to register with the ICO and pay the fee in order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force on 25th May 2018.
The deadline for registration and payment of the fee was 14th June 2018. However, we are aware that many landlords have not registered. Registration can be completed on-line where landlords are required to provide their name, address, details about employees and turnover. The minimum fee is £40 every year which can be reduced to £35 if landlords complete a direct debit form. The fee is ultimately based on the business’s number of employees and annual turnover.
It is important to note that the requirement to register and pay the necessary fee only applies to landlords and agents who process data electronically. That is data that is processed via mobiles, computers, tablets etc. Therefore, in the unlikely event that landlords or agents are processing data manually they will not be required to register or pay the fee.
Anyone who has a registration under the old Data Protection regime can rely on this until it is due for renewal and must then renew under the new system at the new fee.
Those who fail to register and pay the necessary fee can face a civil penalty of up to £4,350. Given its now some 8 weeks since the registration deadline of 14th June 2018 we would strongly advise that those who have not complied with the GDPR do so as soon as possible. Late registration may not prevent a civil penalty however, a short delay is easier to explain than a long delay.