Black Listing

Data Protection:

  • Is it ok to blacklist bad tenants?
  • Landlords and agents must be registered with ICO if they retain potentially sensitive information about their tenant customers.
  • Landlords must protect tenant information by following data protection rules. http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/sector_guides/business.aspx
  • Landlords and tenants:  Disclosing information about tenants http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_application/disclosing_info_about_tenants_v3.0_150708.pdf
  • This is a good practice note answering some frequently asked questions from landlords about :
    • How the Data Protection Act applies to them.
    • The information they hold about their tenants,
    • Information held on their behalf by a letting agent.
  • Is it ok to blacklist bad tenants?
  • I think if it went to court the ‘lister’  would lose.   It is certainly controversial.  
  • If your contract does not provide that you will reveal information in certain circumstances then it is probably not lawful.
  • Even where your contract permits divulging otherwise confidential information this must not be for vexatious reasons.
  • I.e. there must be a lawful and valid reason for communicating the information: to recover a debt, etc not to get your own revenge!
  • In most incidences, should a person ask for a copy of any reference or data you hold or have provided about them, you are obliged to provide it, if it is reasonable to do so, potentially when the reference was given in confidence.
  • Some will see this as rendering references as worthless, whilst others as a reasonable opportunity to defend an unfair reference.
  • After all there are good and bad tenants and landlords. Not all landlord references can be trusted!