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Lettings boss hit with ban after failing to protect deposits

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A lettings management director from Exeter has been disqualified for six years after failing to safeguard more than £68,000 worth of tenants’ deposits. Read More...

First of its kind case sees tenant awarded £18,000

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A tenant in Glasgow is the first case of its kind to be awarded £18,000 in damages by the First-tier Tribunal from Scotland Housing and Property Chamber. Read More...

900,000 UK residents to see an increase in Housing Benefit

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The UK Government has announced that the freeze on Local Housing Allowance rates has been lifted and could see Housing Benefit payments rise from April. Read More...

Electrical Safety Regulations to come into force

14 January 2020

Subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament landlords and agents will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies. Read More...

New regulations to protect renters from carbon monoxide poisoning

10 January 2020

The Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Government housing policy team has confirmed new regulations will include additional requirements for landlords to install working carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms and undertake an electrical safety test at least every five years. Read More...

GDPR – One year on: stay focused

Monday 05 August 2019

We are one year in and complaints to the regulators are nearing 200,000 and reported breaches are over 85,000. Are we all still being successful in protecting the data of your applicants and vendors?

Nick Murphy, GDPR consultant at 3 Lines of Defence Consulting writes for Propertymark’s Property Professional magazine where he considers complaints, breaches and fines.

With one year passing since GDPR came into force, we are seeing fines on the increase. We had Google hit with a record €50m fine and British Airways fined £183m after customer data was stolen- but these are just the headline-grabbing incidents.

Pregnancy club Bounty UK was hit with a £400,000 fine for illegally sharing personal information, and equaling that was Equifax for, again, miss use of personal information. Even the Crown Prosecution Service was hit with a £350,000 fine for loosing DVD stored data. Many fines have also been handed out for companies making marketing calls without gaining consent from the recipients.

Just because the property market has not hit the headlines yet, there is no reason to be complacent.

Ask yourself - Are you still being successful in protecting the data of your applicants and vendors? Are you sure that you comply with the law? Are you confident that you are protected?

Points to consider going forward:

1) Awareness and understanding

Can you guarantee that your staff is fully compliant and fully informed of their responsibilities towards GDPR? If you work for a large organisation there maybe a sound GDPR process in place but at branch level can you be sure it is implemented?

2) What data do you hold

Do you know what data you hold, where you got it and where it is?  It may sound simple, but this is often something firms have not really thought about. You need to work this out, removing data you do not need. 

3) Ongoing compliance

Compliance is an ongoing process, not a one-off exercise. Think about when you take on new employees or change your service offerings. Ensure they fit your framework. Its essential to “fire test” your processes so that you know “when, how, and what” you need to do.

4) Data security

GDPR is just one element of the wider IT security remit that you need to adopt. Remember if a laptop or mobile device is lost that contains personal data, as defined by GDPR, and is not protected and/or encrypted then this is a potential data breach.

In summary: stay focused, stay up to date and stay vigilant. GDPR is here to stay. Data breaches continue to increase – don’t let it happen to you.

For more advice, contact Nick Murphy at 3LDC on 07954730296, emailing info@3ldc.com or visiting www.3ldc.com

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