She is going to re-serve all her tenants with the prescribed information (a good idea) so she is able to prove, if challenged, that this has been done.
But, she asked me, should she also include a data protection notice requesting consent to store information on her PC? Then she asked, should she be registered for Data Protection?
Should you register?
Although I am not a Date Protection expert, I think the answer is probably ‘yes’. The Data Protection Act is rather wide and if you store any information on a computer you are subject to its provisions.
The Independent Commissionser’s Office (ICO) does actually have a special page with information for landlords. Strangely though, it does not seem to cover the question of actual registration with them.
Checking on the ICO website
There is a little trail you can follow to find out if you need to register which starts here. The most important page is probably quesiton 4 which lists the activities which are not exempt. This includes ‘property management’ (which sounds like being a landlord to me) and also ‘accounts and records’ where the information has been obtained from a credit reference agency.
Registering with the ICO is not a problem though. I have been registered with them for years. The main impact it wil have on your life is that you will have to pay them a modest £35 per year.
The ICO helpline
If you have any questions there is a helpline you can use on 0303 123 1113.
I spoke to them recently about amending my records to include the education category in view of my new School for Landlords site and forthcoming Easy Law Training course and I found them very helpful and pleasant.
Generally my view is that it is best to register as then you will avoid any problems.