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Can my property management agent withhold my tenants contact details?

(18 Posts)
PlacesToSee Mon 07-Sep-20 23:18:49

We engaged our letting agent to fully manage our property because we live too far away to deal with issues quickly. They have becoming increasingly slow in communication and issues are not being dealt with. In particular, there is a leak that has not been seen to and we don’t even know what is causing it.

I asked them for contact details for the tenants because I wanted to talk to them myself (we met them once, they seemed nice) about the leak and see if there has been damage.

I’ve been told that because of GDPR they can’t give me our tenants contact details. Does anyone know if this is true? I’ve tried google but can’t find any reference to this particular aspect of GDPR.

How can you not be allowed to have contact details for the people living in your property? shock

The agents are insisting they need to get the tenants’ consent. I initially said fine ask them for consent, but time is passing and I’ve still not received the details (or any indication consent has even been sought). I’ve said to the agent I don’t think the consent bit is accurate under GDPR because we’ve got a legitimate interest, but they insist. This has gone on for a couple of weeks now, and still no contact details.

However, they clearly gave the tenants’ contact details to their plumber contractor because the agent told me the contractor has not been able to get hold of the tenants in order to go in and assess the leak but that he tried several times.

I am feeling very frustrated and just don’t trust the agent anymore. I’d really appreciate advice from people who understand the legal situation here.

OP’s posts: |
cabbageking Mon 07-Sep-20 23:35:05

Send a letter to their address asking them to contact you.

Pipandmum Mon 07-Sep-20 23:43:50

When we sign the lease it had my contact details and the tenants. Surely you have a copy of the lease? Then you have their name and obviously their address!

PlacesToSee Mon 07-Sep-20 23:44:55

Thanks - I’ve thought of that and can pop something in the post tomorrow. We are also planning now to visit over the weekend (it’s a bit of a trek, but we want to know what’s going on). I’ve asked for notice to be given to the tenants that we will be calling in.

But I’d like to know what the GDPR situation is? I feel I’m being misled because the agents don’t want us to communicate directly with the tenants. I’ve asked my husband to check our contract - I’ve had enough and want to fire them as our agents, so want to check what notice we have to give.

OP’s posts: |
YerAWizardHarry Mon 07-Sep-20 23:48:08

Please don't just turn up confused yes it's your house but you need to give notice of visits, they're allowed peace to enjoy the property they're paying for.

wowfudge Mon 07-Sep-20 23:48:20

Write to the tenants and give them your contact details, ask them to call you.

YerAWizardHarry Mon 07-Sep-20 23:48:46

Sorry just saw you said you're going notice. Even so I would try get phone details first

PlacesToSee Mon 07-Sep-20 23:49:22

Thanks also @Pipandmum! Yes, contract is to be dug out now and we can check.

I guess I just couldn’t believe the agent was keeping this up for so long. Every day I expect to see an email with their mobile number and every day it’s some other way of saying we need their consent.

OP’s posts: |
PlacesToSee Mon 07-Sep-20 23:52:57

Yes @YerAWizardHarry, I know all about landlords turning up without notice! Our current landlady keeps doing this - to check something in the garden, to take tiles they left in the shed... hmm

We always give notice, and indeed very rarely visit at all.

OP’s posts: |
Justpassingtime1 Tue 08-Sep-20 06:48:11

A polite letter stating you would like to see them on such and such dates/times and asking for a reply. Before you do this perhaps you
could ask the agent when they are likely to be around. No good asking on days they are on a 12 hour shifts!
Do not send via recorded del as they may refuse to sign for it (worst case)
They do not have to allow access unless it is an emergency in which
case the notice period will be in their contract However, all attempts
to contact them re access MUST be noted I hope the agents have done this

PlacesToSee Tue 08-Sep-20 07:07:08

Thanks @Justpassingtime1, yes we can do this. I’ve now pulled out the contract.

I’d really like to know about the GDPR issue because if the agent is giving me inaccurate information (I suspect they might be), then I think a complaint to the regulating body is in order. Does anyone know about this?

OP’s posts: |
Brunilde Tue 08-Sep-20 10:04:51

I'm not an expert but know a little about it. The regulations will not mention specifically the relationship between landland and letting agency so you won't find a specific answer. It's about the interpretation of the regulations. But basically when collecting data the lettings agency has to be very specific about how that data is used, and inform the tenants if anyone else will receive the data. So it will depend on their contract and Information provided to the Tennant at the time they signed it I would imagine.

Found this link which would suggest there are correct but as it is not the actual regulation can't say how accurate it is.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.iotevolutionworld.com/iot/articles/440315-guidelines-gdpr-compliance-third-party-contracts.htm/amp

'Both controllers and processors cannot transfer the personal data to the third parties or to the third countries unless otherwise specified in the contract or the company has obtained a consent from the disclosing party' .

Justpassingtime1 Tue 08-Sep-20 17:47:36

Could you give the agent's regulatory body a ring and ask them where
you stand?

20questions Tue 08-Sep-20 18:15:57

You weren't given details of your own tenants?? Ridiculous. You should have seen the credit check results (hope this was done!) and all other revelant information regarding * your * tenants. The agent is only working on your behalf!
Likewise you should have received evidence of the deposit being protected by the agent.
Remember - you as the landlord are legally responsible for any legal errors - not the agents.
Your agents sound dodgy. I would be concerned.
Join one of the landlord sites - landlordzone is very good.

LBOCS2 Tue 08-Sep-20 20:05:40

Given that the contract is presumably between yourselves and the tenants, I can't see how GDPR applies as it's absolutely relevant and pertinent that you have access to that information.

RHTawneyonabus Tue 08-Sep-20 20:11:34

That’s ridiculous has landlord you have all sorts of legal responsibilities including checking their nationality to ensure they are in the country legally. It’s on you to make sure these are complied with and you need information to do that.

Tappering Tue 08-Sep-20 20:52:13

They are bullshitting you - although to be fair GDPR is massively misunderstood and misinterpreted.

The lease of the property is between you and the tenant, which gives you the right to their details as you are in a direct contractual relationship with them. Your lawful basis for processing data is that it is necessary for the performance of the contract between you (i.e. the lease of your property to them). You could also use legitimate interest if you wished but contract performance is enough.

If the agency has not provided you with a copy of the tenancy agreement then ask for it. If they refuse to provide it, then send them a sharp email telling them that:
- they work for you, administering the property that belongs to you,
- and if they continue to refuse to tell you who is living in your house then you will be sacking them and appointing a new agent,

That should do the trick.

DrownedDuffers Tue 08-Sep-20 21:31:20

https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

?

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