Privacy Policy - Cheshire West and Chester

Privacy Policy

ForHousing delivers services on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council and we process data on their instructions, this means that Cheshire West and Chester Council are the data controller for your data and ForHousing is a data processor

ForHousing is registered with the ICO as a data controller, registration number: Z1517732

The Cheshire West and Chester Councils privacy policy can be found here and it outlines how to express your rights with the council.

We welcome any queries about the use of your personal data, please email us at: data.protection@forhousing.co.uk

Who do we collection information about?

We collect personal data about:

  • Current, former and potential tenants, including their family, household members and other people associated with them such as next of kin or emergency contacts
  • Leaseholders and leasehold property occupants
  • Shared owners
  • General public, those who access our services for the wider community or anyone who makes a complaint or enquiry

Why do you need my information?

The data you provide to us will be used to provide our services to you and any information supplied to us over our website allows us to deal with your enquiries.

What basis do you have for holding my information?

We will be processing your information to allow us to fulfil our contract with you and the council and to fulfil legitimate interests as a social landlord. We only process data in a way that you would expect us to and which allows us to deliver our services to you.

Do you have to collect this information? What happens if I don’t give it you?

The information you provide to us helps us to fulfil our obligations as a landlord to you and you need to provide information to us to begin a tenancy with us. Additional information provided to us helps us to offer you services to support your tenancy and not providing this information will mean we may not be able to offer all of our services to you

We collect sensitive information about you to fulfil our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 which ensures we deliver fair and accessible services for all.

How do you collect information?

Most of the information we have about you and your family members comes directly from you. We record information whenever you contact us or use our services so that we have a record of what happened.

We may get information from partner organisations, you family, friends or neighbours or if somebody makes a complaint on your behalf.

We may also get information about you from the police, probation services, social services, disclosure and barring service or courts under certain circumstances.

We also use public information sources such as credit reference agencies.

Additionally we get information about your benefits and council tax from the Department of Work and Pensions and local councils.

What information do you collect and what is it for?

When you contact us for the first time we will collect:

  • Your name and contact details for which may be shared with our suppliers and partners
  • If appropriate we will collect sensitive information about you such as gender, date of birth, ethnicity and race information, disability, financial and employment information and health information relating to particular needs or preferences so that we can understand you and your needs to help tailor our service to you

Housing Management

  • Your housing needs so we can find a property that suits you when available
  • Bank details and direct debit information to make payments to us such as rent or service charges (this information is only exchanged with the account holder and third parties who manage our direct debits)
  • Benefit and council tax information to verify circumstances
  • Information that you provide to our staff relating to your tenancy and management of property
  • Feedback from our contractors
  • Voice and video recordings such as CCTV for safety and crime reduction along with quality management
  • Proof of identity for new lettings

Improving your experience

  • We are committed to improving your experience with us and from time to time we will process your information to carry out tenant feedback exercises, newsletters and service information
  • You can provide details of friends, relatives or neighbours who you trust to contact us on your behalf
  • With your consent we may use your name, photo, video and experience with us for brochures, advertising or press releases
  • Information about compliments and complaints about our services, individuals and any accidents or incidents
  • If you attend our events we may contact you for feedback on how they have helped you

Additional services

We pride ourselves on being active in the communities we work in and information may be used for our services within localities:

  • Your name and contact details
  • If you ask for care support requirements we will hold detailed information about your needs or your family needs
  • Records of payments
  • If you contact us about money problems we will hold detailed information about your income and debts
  • If you use our skills centre we will ask about employment and learning history
  • If you participate in any of our involvement or community projects we will ask for personal information relevant to these projects
  • Information about your history e.g. credit or offences if we need it to look after our colleagues, business or anyone else

Working with other organisations

Sometimes we may work with other services to provide a service and we will receive information from them and may exchange information to provide services on their behalf.

Violent or abusive behaviour

If you are violent or abusive to our staff, other customers we may decide to place a red violent warning marker on your customer record. If we do this we will tell you and explain why. We will also share this information with our partners such as contractors.

Credit reference

We use credit reference agencies for the prevention, detection and prosecution of crime for instances such as social housing fraud and benefit fraud: we will occasionally use credit reference agencies. This information will not be passed on to third parties and will not be used for any inappropriate purchases.

We also use your information for

  • Keeping in touch with you, inviting you to events, keeping our information up to date
  • Telling you about any changes and services we offer;
  • Managing your payments
  • Providing any additional services we can offer you
  • Prevention, detection and prosecution of crime, including social housing fraud and benefit fraud
  • Informing out colleagues, contractors and other necessary parties when appropriate about past incidents for their protection in line with our policies
  • Meeting our regulatory and legal obligations
  • Suppliers which have legal rights

How long will you keep my information for?

We will usually keep information about you for as long as you are a tenant and for another six years, or six years after any arrears agreements have been paid.

We use industry standard retention schedules to determine how long we keep this information.

Is my information secure?

Our obligations as a controller of your data means we have to make use of technology to ensure data is safe and secure and held in systems which with technological measures to enhance security. We are committed to this and when we work with contractors or partners we do checks to make sure they also meet our high standards of security. If information can be held electronically we will keep information secure on our central services although we may hold paper information in some circumstances, and we ensure appropriate physical protection to your data.

Who else will see my data?

We take holding your data very seriously and we will only share your information when it is necessary, we may share details to other companies in ForViva when they are delivering services on our behalf.

In order for us to fulfil our obligations with to you and provide the services for your time with us we share data with:

  • Contractors who deliver repairs and improvements
  • IT providers who manage the computers, phones or systems we use
  • Our out of hours service providers
  • Banks
  • Distribution companies who help us with sending leaflets and information to you
  • Our professional advisors such as auditors
  • If we need to recover any debts when you leave your tenancy we may need to share your information with external agencies
  • The companies we choose to complete our feedback exercises for us
  • Training and learning providers for example Skills Academy
  • External assistance when you have agreed to a referral e.g. money advisory services or groups to support your health and wellbeing
  • Local authorities and Government departments for services such as benefits
  • Police, Fire and health authorities or medical staff who provide services for you

Some organisations will have a legal basis for requesting information about you from us for example

  • Utility companies
  • The police for crime prevention or detection, resolutions of complaints or other issues
  • Local authorities, safeguarding boards , regulators, Government departments and public authorities for preventing payment errors or fraud

We do not give anyone else access to your information in return for payment, for marketing or commercial purposes.

Information will not be shared with anyone who claims to represent you unless we are satisfied they have been appointed by yourself or they are acting in an official capacity. We may make checks to confirm the legitimacy of their approval to deal with.

What rights do I have?

The Data Protection Act 2018 gives you specific rights around your data and you have the right to ask us not to process some of your information, this may mean we are unable to provide services to you:

  • be informed about what we do with your personal information (which is why we have published this tenant privacy notice)
  • get a copy of the information we hold about you (this is known as a Subject Access Request)
  • ask us to correct information that is wrong
  • stop us from doing certain things with your information, for example if you think the information is wrong
  • object to us using it for marketing
  • get us to delete your information in certain circumstances
  • get an electronic copy of your information so that you can send it to another company
  • object to any important decisions being taken about you automatically
  • claim compensation (through the courts) if we misuse your information
  • if you have previously given us your consent to use your information for something, you can change your mind

If you wish to make a complaint about the way we have handled your information or want to know how we use your information please contact Governance Team at 52 Regent Street, Eccles, M30 0BP.

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you think there is a problem with the way we have handled your personal information. The Information Commissioner can be contacted on 0303 123 1133 and they have a website www.ico.org.uk where you can find more info.

Changes to privacy statement

This statement may change and we will display the most up to version on our website and you can also request a copy from any of our offices.

Our nominated representative for the purpose of the Act is Matthew Humphreys

Last reviewed: March 2019