Latest News

Winter weather precautions

20 January 2021

Propertymark Industry Supplier, Gallagher offers practical steps that can help agents and their clients reduce the risk of damage to property as areas of the nation are set to see further warnings of more inclement weather to come. Damage caused by the escape of water from frozen pipes and other equipment can be extremely costly in repairs and disruption. Read More...

Concerns raised over new energy efficiency proposals

20 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on Improving the Energy Performance of Privately Rented Homes in England and Wales by highlighting a number of concerns. These relate to affordability and the need to look beyond a one-size fits all policy and develop proposals that work with the different age, condition, and size of properties in the private rented sector. Read More...

Change smoke and carbon rules for earlier checks

19 January 2021

Propertymark has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on extending the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Regulations in England, arguing that the rules should be amended so that landlords and agents must make sure the alarms are tested prior to the start of the tenancy and not on the first day of each new tenancy. Read More...

Major GDPR fine sends warning to property professionals

Thursday 28 November 2019

UK agents should take stock of their data collection and retention procedures, following the news that a Berlin property company has been fined more than €14.5m (£12.4m) due to a GDPR breach.

The German company, Deutsche Wohnen, is reported to have retained old customer data, which is a breach of administrative obligations, rather than a data breach which is loss or misuse of customer data.

It is reportedly the first GDPR fine in response to a company’s data retention activity and the largest fine received by a property company.

GDPR international relevance

Although a German investigation, it will be one which other data protection regulators, including the UK’s Information Commission, will be looking at for an indication of appropriate fines.

The GDPR came into force on 25 May 2018, and directly applies to all EU countries including the UK, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Any UK based businesses offering goods or services in the EU, or monitoring the behaviour of EU residents, will still need to comply with GDPR rules.

Deutsche Wohnen was found to have breached obligations to keep personal data for “no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed”, to ensure that personal data is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary; and to provide appropriate technical and organisational measures designed to implement data protection principles.

Despite the regulator's request that it revise these activities, Deutsche Wohnen's improvements did not go far enough. The fine could have been millions of pounds higher, but Deutsche Wohnen is co-operating with the investigation and took steps to address its failure.

This case highlights to property companies the need to regularly review their data processes and the data which is kept.

PROPERTYMARK GDPR RESOURCES

Propertymark has a number of resources to help members understand and comply with their GDPR obligations.

GDPR resources