Privacy Policy

What this notice is about

This Privacy Notice tells you what information we obtain and hold about you whether you are initially applying to us for a tenancy, you become a tenant, resident, guarantor or landlord. It explains what information we collect, why we collect it and what we do with it, as well as who we may have to share it with.

We call this information “your personal information”. This is also sometimes referred to as “data” or “personal data”. This information tells us something about you.

If there are any changes to how we collect or use your information, we will update this privacy notice.

Who are we?

Four Trees Lettings is a lettings agency that works with tenants, guarantors and landlords for properties to let in and around Sheffield.  We are the ‘Controller’ of the personal information you provide to us. We will treat your personal information as confidential and in line with all data protection laws.

Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted at debbie@dtinformationgovernance.co.uk or by writing to them at our postal address.

What personal information we need?

We collect and use your personal information in a number of ways when you apply for a tenancy/residency. If you fail to provide the information we need, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We will collect your full name and contact details (such as phone number, email address and postal address when you get in touch with us.

We may need to collect certain types of personal information that is known as special category data. This is generally information relating to health, racial or ethnic origin, religious beliefs, political opinion and sexual orientation. But we will only collect this where it is necessary to provide you with the service.

If you are applying to be a tenant/resident we will need to collect:

  • Personal background including occupation/status
  • Bank details
  • Identity verification and credit status
  • Deposits (if any)
  • Tenancy details including renewal, joint tenants or other residents and guarantors
  • Immigrations/Right to Rent checks (England only)
  • Welfare benefits
  • Health or disability
  • Next or Kin or emergency contact details
  • Rent and other payments
  • Details of previous tenancies and any reports such as anti-social behaviour
  • Audio or CCTV (if in operation)
  • Complaints.

If you are a landlord and we are managing and letting your property for you we will collect information that is also about the property:

  • Personal details (name and address etc)
  • Verification of ownership or details of your right to control over the property
  • Bank details to enable us to forward rent payments
  • Recovery of arrears, claims or possession proceedings
  • Repairs/health and safety/housing conditions
  • Council Tax liability/Utilities and services provided/Water Charges.

If you are a guarantor we will need to collect:

  • Personal background including occupation/status
  • Bank details
  • Identity verification and credit status
  • Confirmation that you are willing to act as a guarantor.

We will not collect any personal information from you we do not need in order to provide our services to you.

We may collect some of the personal information from other sources such as credit reference agencies, companies that make information commercially available (data brokers), social networks (such as Facebook), your employer, a solicitor, online property portals and other publicly available sources such as the electoral roll and HM Land Registry.

Why we need it?

We cannot provide the tenancy or the property lettings services without collecting your personal information, so we are required to identify the legal basis (the legal reason) why we are collecting and using your personal information. These are identified in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and we have a number that apply.

We need to know your personal information in order to provide you with our services and determine suitability of a proposed tenant/resident [Legitimate Interests].

We have a legal obligation to check immigration status / right to rent and to verify identities [Legal Obligation].

It is in our legitimate interests to verify the credit worthiness/suitability of tenants or guarantors [Legitimate Interest].

To agree and perform a tenancy contract with you [Contract].

To perform a contract for the letting or management of your property including rent collection, other payments, property repairs or similar. [Contract].

We may monitor and enforce tenant responsibilities as part of a contract [Contract]. 

We have a legitimate interest in processing any complaints we receive [Legitimate Interest].

It is in our legitimate interests to deal with any welfare benefit where it relates to rent payable or administering any liabilities on your behalf [Legitimate Interest].

It will be in your vital interest if we need to contact your nominated next of kin or emergency contact [Vital Interests].

To operate our business we have a legitimate interest in keeping up to date records and those records required by law including regulatory compliance [Legitimate Interests].

We may collect your personal information for marketing purposes, but this will only be with your consent and you can withdraw this at any time by writing to our Data Protection Officer [Consent].

Security of your personal information

The security of your personal information is very important to us and we have measures in place that are designed to prevent unauthorised access.

All personal information that we collect, and use, is processed by our employees in the UK. We provide regular training to our employees on data protection and confidentiality.

Our IT hosting for electronic records and contract storage, is located within the EU. Our databases have strict access requirements in place and only those who need access to your personal information have this access. 

Paper records and documents are kept in locked cabinets and our offices have secure access.

Sharing of your personal information

We will keep any sharing of your personal information to a minimum.

This may be sharing with the landlord or property owner if you are a tenant or guarantor, or sharing your name and contact details with approved contractors that we have asked to undertake building maintenance or checks such as a Gas safety check. 

To enable us to perform credit or reference checks, we will be required to share limited information with these organisations to provide this service to us. 

We may also share your personal information if we have to bring in a debt collection agency to assist us in collecting any monies that you owe to us where payment is overdue.

We have contracted professional advisors that we may have to share your information with to support us in operating our business and comply with legal and regulatory obligations.

We do not allow third parties to have access to your personal information unless we are required to share your information with them by law or we are ordered to do so by a Court. This may include law enforcement or regulatory organisations.

Overseas Transfers and decision making

We do not transfer your personal information to third countries outside of the EU/EEA, and we do not make automated decisions on your data, nor do we use your personal information for profiling purposes.

How long do we keep it?

The length of time that we are required to keep your personal information will depend on which service we provide to you.

Where we have a statutory requirement to keep information, this may be longer than the length of time that we are providing you with the service. For example, financial records are required to be kept for 6 years or contracts are kept for 6 years from the end date of the contract.

If you have consented to your personal information being used for marketing purposes, it will be kept until you inform us that you no longer wish to receive this marketing. 

You can find out more about how long we keep it for in our retention schedule which is available on request.

What are your rights?

Where we hold personal information about you, you are known as the ‘Data Subject’ and you have a number of rights relating to the processing of your personal information. 

You can ask to see the personal information that we hold about you (known as a Subject Access Request), or even as us to correct it or have it deleted. You should contact us at Four Trees Lettings Agency, Blades Business Hub, John Street, Sheffield S2 4SW if you wish to exercise these rights.

Where you have provided personal information with consent, you can withdraw this consent at any time. Please send an email to info@fourtreeslettings.co.uk with the subject “withdraw consent” if you wish to do this.

More information on your rights can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website at www.ico.org.uk. 

Complaints

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter. We would like the opportunity to review the issue and see if we can resolve this with you.

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal information  in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Telephone 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or by email to casework@ico.org.uk.