This privacy notice sets out who we are, what data we collect about you and how we use the data we collect. It will provide you with information about your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 [GDPR] and the Data Protection Act 1998 (as amended) [the Data Protection Legislation]. It will also tell you how to action these rights.
In order to register your need for housing we need to process the personal information (data) that you provide in your application. This information will be held either on paper or electronically. We recognise the need to treat it in an appropriate and lawful manner. The purpose of this notice is to make you aware of how we will handle your information.
Who we are
Link Housing Association Limited and Horizon Housing Association Limited are part of the Link group of companies.
We are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO]. The terms “we” and “us” in this document refer to any of the Link group of companies.
Find a Home is the operating name for our choice-based lettings system that is provided by Home Connections. Home Connections is also registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office, they will also act as data processor for Link.
Link and Home Connections have entered into a Data Processing Agreement. This agreement sets out how and why information may be shared. This ensures that we can provide you with the services you expect from us at the same time as meeting our data protection obligations.
The data protection principles set out how your personal data should be managed:
What we have to do
We need to be clear and upfront about what we use your data for.
We will only use your data for specific reasons which are set out in this guide.
We will only collect data which is necessary for us to provide a service to you and will delete data when it becomes out of date or no longer required.
We will ensure that any personal data we collect is correct and up to date.
We will keep only what’s necessary in line with our Data Retention Schedule.
We will ensure we have appropriate security to protect the data we process about you.
We aim for this privacy notice to be clear but comprehensive and provide you with all the information you need to understand how we will manage your data.
- What is Data
Personal Data means any identifiable information about a living person. This will include:
- Previous addresses
- Telephone Number
- Date of birth
- Household composition
Special categories of personal data are defined as personal data relating to a person’s:
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Political opinions
- Religious or other beliefs
- Trade Union membership
- Sex life or sexual orientation
- Genetic or biometric data used to uniquely identify a person
As we are controllers of your personal data, we are responsible for the safeguarding of the data you provide.
What are the conditions of processing?
The conditions of processing mean that there needs to be a lawful reason for processing your data. We must make it very clear why we process your data and the reason must fall into one of the following conditions.
For Personal Data
You have given your consent to the processing of your personal data.
Processing of personal data is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or for Link to take pre contractual steps at your request.
Processing of personal data is necessary for Link to comply with a legal obligation.
Processing of personal data is necessary to protect your vital interests or another individual's vital interests (this means life or death situations).
Processing of personal data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority conferred on us.
Processing is necessary for our legitimate interests or a third party's legitimate interests, unless these interests are overridden by your interests or fundamental rights.
For Special Categories of Personal Data
You have given your explicit consent to the processing of your personal data.
Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law.
Processing is necessary to protect your vital interests of or another person's vital interests where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent.
Processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
Processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, under law.
Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
Processing is necessary for the purposes of the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems.
- Your Rights
You have several rights under the Data Protection Legislation which are outlined and explained below.
The right to be informed how your personal data is processed
This guide informs you how your data will be processed and sets out clearly our lawful basis for processing. The right to access your personal data You can submit a Subject Access Request to access the personal data that any Link landlord hold about you. You can do this by writing to your nominated lead landlord at the following address:
Link Group: Data Protection Officer, Link House, 2c New Mart Road, Edinburgh EH14 1RL.
Email: [email protected]
We will then have 30 days to respond to your request. As part of the subject access request process we will ask for two forms of identification to be submitted before any information is released.
The right to rectification
If any of the personal data we hold about you is wrong, you have the right to ask us to correct it.
The right to erasure
You may request that Link erase any of your personal data that is processed by us. This is also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. Please note that this is subject to several exemptions and so is not an absolute or automatic right and will be considered under the processing principles.
The right to restrict processing
If you believe that we are processing personal data unlawfully, where it is no longer needed or think that the personal data held is inaccurate you can ask us not to process that personal data.
The right to data portability
If you wish to move to another landlord, you can ask us to pass on the personal data we hold about you to the new landlord, where you have provided that personal data to us and we have been processing it to perform a contract with you.
The right to object
You have the right to object to our processing of your personal data. However, if we can demonstrate that there is an appropriate ‘condition of processing’ in place then we may refuse to stop processing your personal data.
Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling
You have the right not to be subject to a decision solely based on automated processing. If a decision is made by an automated process you may ask to have the decision investigated by a member of staff.
How to action your rights under the Data Protection Legislation
If you wish to object to the use of your personal data, would like to restrict processing or have data rectified, please contact your lead landlord.
Reporting a data breach
A personal data breach means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. If you think there has been a data breach, please contact your lead landlord.
The right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office
If you have a concern about the way we are processing your personal data, you can raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office:
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone 0303 123 1113
We will never share or sell your personal data to a third party for marketing purposes.
Keeping your information secure
We store personal information both electronically and in paper form. We implement security policies, processes and technical security solutions to protect the personal information we hold from:
- Unauthorised access
- Improper use or disclosure
- Unauthorised modification
- Unlawful destruction or accidental loss
We’ll do what we can to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we’ll only make them available to those who have a right to see them. Examples of our security include:
- Encryption, meaning that information is hidden so that it cannot be read without special knowledge (such as a password). This is done with a secret code or what’s called a ‘cypher’. The hidden information is said to then be ‘encrypted’.
- Pseudonymisation, meaning that we’ll use a different name so we can hide parts of your personal information from view. This means that someone outside of the Link group could work on your information for us without ever knowing it was yours.
- Controlling access to systems and networks allows us to stop people who are not allowed to view your personal information from getting access to it.
- Training for our staff allows us to make them aware of how to handle information and how and when to report when something goes wrong.
- Regular testing of our technology and ways of working including keeping up to date on the latest security updates (commonly called patches)
When you contact us, we may ask you to provide us with some information so that we can confirm your identity. If other people (e.g. family members, support workers, solicitors) act on your behalf we will take steps to ensure that you have agreed for them to do so. This may include asking them to provide us with supporting information to indicate your consent. We do this to protect you and to make sure that other people cannot find things out about you that they are not entitled to know.
Employees and third parties who have access to, or are associated with the processing of, your personal information are obliged to make reasonable efforts to safeguard it.
Where in the world is your information?
The majority of personal information is stored on systems in the UK. But there may be some occasions as our technology services progress where your information may leave the UK either in order to get to another organisation or if it’s stored in a system outside of the EU.
We will always have additional protections on your information if it leaves the UK ranging from secure ways of transferring data to ensuring we have a robust contract in place with that third party.
We’ll take all practical steps to make sure your personal information is not sent to a country that is not seen as ‘safe’ either by the UK or EU Governments.
- What data we need
To allow us to provide the service you would expect from us, we process the personal information you provide which includes:
- Your name
- Address and previous address(es)
- telephone number(s)
- e-mail address
- Date of birth
- Names and dates of birth of those currently living in with you
- Names and dates of birth of those who will be moving with you
- Previous tenancy history including landlord contact details
- Information about your health or disability
- Information about your current housing circumstances
- Information about any criminal convictions
- Information about any complaints of anti-social behaviour made against you or a member of your household
- Information about your income in relation to affordability of a private let
- Arrears information for current or previous tenancies
- Employment details where relevant to any priority application
- Details of anyone you nominate to act on your behalf
Why we need it
As Registered Social Landlords we are guided by legislation in who we allocate houses to and need to assess housing need to do that effectively. The information you provide allows us to make that assessment. It also identifies your housing requirements and enables you to bid for appropriate housing. We will also on occasion ask for your opinion of the service.
Other ways that your information is used are;
- to ensure that information is available to partner landlords should you want to bid for properties in their areas.
- for reporting anonymised statistical information including Annual Return Charter and Committee reports
- to enable us to respond to queries or complaints you have about your housing application
- to communicate with you regarding your application and provide information to help you to bid for suitable available properties
Where we store your data
We store your information in the choice-based lettings system – which is basically a large database, a web-based information storage system. We also receive some information on paper forms, these are scanned into our document management system and stored with your individual registration. It’s also possible, if you have contacted us by email, that some information will be held in our email system.
How long we will keep your information
We will keep your data for as long as you have an active application for housing. We will write to you annually to ensure that you are still looking for a property. If we cannot contact you or if you indicate that you do no longer want to be registered, we will withdraw your housing application and anonymise your data for reporting purposes.
If you are successful in being allocated a home, we will transfer your data to our housing management system to create your tenancy, then anonymise your data in the choice based letting system and only use it for reporting purposes.
You can find more information on our Data Retention periods by contacting us directly.
There are several pieces of legislation that require us to collect the information from you
Condition of Processing
The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (as amended)
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (once enacted)
Special Category Data
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, section 105
The Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5, section L2
The Equality Act 2010
Sharing your Information
The information you provide to us will be treated by us as confidential. When verifying the information, you have provided we will contact those third parties that you have listed in your application.
Receiving data about you
Where appropriate we will also receive the following information from third parties:
- Medical information from Occupational Therapist, hospital and GPs or any other medical professional to support your application
- Social Work or any other supporting agencies in relation to your application for housing
- References from previous or current landlords which will include information about rechargeable repairs, outstanding debt and complaints of anti-social behaviour
Updating your information
If your details change, please inform us so that all the information we hold about you is up to date. We will also contact you annually to ensure the information we hold remains valid.