Protecting Your Information
In order to help provide you with the best and most appropriate service we need you to help us by providing us with your detailed information. We begin the process of collecting information about you and if appropriate your family when you apply to us either directly or through one of our Choice Based Letting partners. We appreciate that some of the information you give us will be very sensitive including details about your health and any disabilities you may have. Because the information you provide us is very personal we take your privacy & confidentiality very seriously.
We aim to keep your information as up-to-date as possible so that when your needs change over time, the services we provide you can change to reflect these different needs. We will also ensure we make every possible effort to fulfil our obligations under the Data Protection Act to keep your personal information secure and only keep it as long as we need to, although please bear in mind we are legally obliged to keep some records for an extended period of time, such as housing benefit payments, before it’s safely destroyed.
The Data Protection Act
We will process all the personal data we collect from you in line with the eight principles of the Data Protection Act not only because we have a legal duty to but because we think it makes good business practice and helps us know our customers better and protect their information more securely.
In order to do this, we follow the 8 Principles of the Data Protection Act which states the data we process must be:
- fairly and lawfully processed
- processed for limited purposes
- adequate, relevant and not excessive
- accurate and up to date
- not kept for longer than necessary
- processed in line with your rights
- kept secure regardless of whether it’s an electronic or physical file
- not transferred to other countries outside of the EEU without adequate protection
Access Your Information
As a registered Data Controller we are also obliged to provide you the information we hold about you if you ask us, including anything from electronic files to photographs and call recordings. This is called a Subject Access Request, and you have to put your request to us in writing and pay an administration fee of £10.00. Once we’ve received your written request and payment we will respond to you in writing with all of the information we hold about you within 40 calendar days.
Please make us aware if you have a disability which we need to consider when responding to your request for information, such as the need for us to provide your details in large print format. If your disability prevents you submitting a written Subject Access Request, please contact our Customer Service Team on 0151 290 7000 who will be pleased to make alternative arrangements for you.
If you find out that any of the information is incorrect or inaccurate please let us know so we can make the necessary changes.
Sharing Your Information
Sometimes it’s in everyone’s best interests for us to share some of the information we have about our tenants with other organisations. Sometimes this is because we have a legal obligation to do so and sometimes it’s to ensure you get the best service possible. We will for example forward your details on to utility companies to ensure that you’re supplied with energy and water in your home.
If you decide to leave your property without paying or arranging to pay and you are in arrears we may decide it’s necessary to share your details with a Debt Collection Agency to help us recover our money.
We will also share some details with our contractors, so they can contact you if your property is in need of repair or scheduled for improvement work, to arrange a suitable time to visit.
In exceptional circumstances we may feel it’s necessary to provide your details to the Police or the Local Authority Social Services Dept. where there has been a case of criminal activity, a breach of your tenancy agreement or we have been made aware of potentially Anti-Social Behaviour.
In the event you do leave us and move to a new landlord we might be contacted for a reference and may provide some of your details to them.
Regardless of the circumstances, if we find ourselves in a situation where we need to share your information with another organisation and you haven’t already given your consent for us to do this, then we will ask for it before releasing any information about you.
We’d like to stress that under no circumstances do we ever sell or pass on your information to business or organisations so they can get in touch with you directly either by phone, email or in writing in order to sell you their products or services.
Getting in Touch
If you have any enquiries concerning Data Protection or your Privacy rights please email us in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.
How we use your information to carry out our marketing activities to keep you informed on our products and services, and our preferred partners' products and services. This may include using your home address, email, and telephone numbers.
We will use this type of marketing in a manner which is compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Privacy Electronic Communications Regulations and we will check the Mailing Preference and Telephone Preference service before we carryout marketing services.
This may include sending you our company newsletter which will have information about our company’s news, services and other partners who we have paired up with to offer a service. Using your home and contact details to provide you a direct way to be contacted and share information with you about the services we can deliver to you. This activity is called an automatic opt-in, you may opt-out at any time by contacting [insert]. type of activity can also help you receive important promotional/marketing messages which may interest or help you. You cannot opt-out of the use of your information for operational purposes, examples of this is to receive important information about your relationship with [insert] for example, repairs tenancy or leaseholder services etc.
We may use your telephone number that you have provided us to keep in contact with you by text. When we send SMS/text messages, there may be someone in your household who may read the message before you are able to. You may like to inform the people who live with you that you may receive text messages from time to time.
Operational SMS/text messaging and calls
If you supply us with your telephone contact details, we may use them to call or send you operational text messages.
Examples of operational text messages include:
· Confirming a repair and/or a time and date for a repairs contractor to visit
· Confirming a home visit
· Sending a reminder about an appointment
· Asking you to contact a named person
Promotional and marketing SMS/text messaging and calls
Our promotional or marketing SMS/text messages can benefit you by giving you information about our own services and those provided by approved third parties (such as companies or groups we work with).
Representative examples of the promotional or marketing text messages which we may send you include:
· Helping you if you have money worries, through advice, guidance and appropriate referrals to support agencies
· Promoting services that may interest you, including supporting families with young people not in education, employment or training
· Supporting families affected by anti-social behaviour
· Giving you information on energy, heating or water saving services
· Telling you how you can get advice on setting up your own business
· Inviting you to take part in telephone surveys
· Access to work readiness programme or employment training or employment opportunities
· Activities to help bring communities together
When you supply your telephone contact details, you can ask us to either send or not send promotional and marketing SMS/text messages. You can opt-out of receiving these types of SMS/text messages by responding to messages with: OPT OUT, or by e-mailing email@example.com
Sharing your telephone number with third parties
We may pass your telephone number to third parties so that we can meet our contractual obligations with you. We may also share your telephone numbers if we are required to by law. In doing so we will comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
We may supply the details to our approved marketing or third party contractors who are delivering or performing services on our behalf, and these companies must not use your information for any other purpose. We never share or sell your telephone numbers telesales/marketing companies.