Housing privacy notice

This privacy notice is to let you know how we promise to look after your personal information. This notice explains how we do this and tells you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

This privacy notice covers the following areas of housing:

  • housing options/allocations/temporary accommodation
  • affordable housing
  • housing property
  • lifeline/independent living services
  • in-house maintenance
  • private sector housing

What information do we collect?

The type of information we collect will depend on why you have got in touch with us. The information will include some or all of the following:

  • name
  • address
  • contact details
  • reason why you have contacted us
  • contacts that we have had with you
  • details of your current accommodation
  • housing needs and any risk factors that need to be taken into account
  • financial information
  • medical information
  • offending history
  • characteristics (such as age, ethnicity and language)
  • details of your GP and other people providing professional support

Who uses this information?

Internal to Harrogate Borough Council

  • housing and community
  • affordable housing
  • council tax and welfare benefits
  • legal and governance
  • planning and development
  • environmental services

External to Harrogate Borough Council

  • housing associations
  • health and social services
  • charities

Why do we use this information?

Private sector housing

  • improve and enforce standards in the private housing sector
  • license Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
  • provide adaptations to assist disabled people and their carers
  • bring empty properties back in to use
  • assist owner occupiers with essential repairs and improvements
  • filthy and verminous properties
  • immigration inspections

Affordable housing

  • develop and provide affordable housing schemes

In-house maintenance

  • repair maintain all council properties
  • adaptions to council properties
  • emergency call outs

Housing property

  • letting and re-letting council tenancies/properties
  • managing anti-social behaviour within council properties
  • providing general assistance to council tenants
  • rent and arrears collection
  • evictions and tenancy control
  • leaseholder properties

Lifeline/independent living services

  • provide a support service for independent living
  • run and manage the supported housing schemes

Housing options/allocations

  • help find and maintain secure accommodation
  • process applications for the housing register and award banding
  • assess whether the council has a duty to rehouse people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • help people access appropriate housing related support
  • meet general housing needs through the private rented sector

What authority does Harrogate Borough Council have to collect and use this information?

The housing services process personal data under the following categories of lawfulness in the General Data Protection Regulation:

6(1)(e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
9(2)(b) processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement
9(2)(g) processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of Union or Member State law which is proportionate to the aim pursued and which contains appropriate safeguards

The tasks that we carry out in exercise of official authority are mainly required under the following laws (although other legislation applies)

  • Local Government Act 1985
  • Housing Acts 1985, 1988, 1996, 2002, 2004
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996
  • Local Government Act 2000
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

Who are we likely to share this information with?

We may sometimes share the information that we have collected about you where it is necessary, lawful and fair to do so. We may share information with the following groups for these purposes:

  • other council services - to help us carry out the functions that we need this information for, or to protect public funds - for instance, to prevent fraud. We also share an information system (APP) with some other council services - environmental protection, neighbourhood wardens and licensing
  • Registered Providers (RPs) - to secure accommodation for people who have applied for social housing or who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
  • supported accommodation/floating support providers - to secure housing related support. This also includes information to help with resettling refuges.
  • private landlords - where the council's duty to provide accommodation is being discharged by the provision of bed and breakfast accommodation.
  • we may also share your information, with landlords participating in the Private Sector Lettings Scheme
  • North Yorkshire Fire Service - to access fire safety assistance for vulnerable service users
  • government departments, especially Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Home Office - to show how we are performing our statutory functions and provide data for the government to measure progress at a national level.
  • general public - to meet the statutory requirement to make the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Register available to anyone requesting this
  • Freedom of Information (FOI)/Subject Access Requests (SAR)/Environmental Information Requests (EIR)

Sharing information during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis

Personal data or special category data may be shared with relevant organisations and agencies during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The lawful basis for sharing this information is that (1) it is necessary for the performance of a task in the public interest and (2) to protect the vital interests of an individual.

How do we keep this information secure?

  • information which is held electronically is either held in files that are held on the council's servers or dedicated databases. These systems are password protected and only accessible to people who need access to them
  • information which is held on paper is either stored in offices which are subject to access controls or in the dedicated archive provision for the council. Where information is removed from the office for operational purposes the amount of this is minimised and staff are trained to ensure that this is kept secure at all times
  • audio based information, such as records of PACE interviews, are kept in locked storage within an access controlled office

When computers make any decisions about you?

The housing services do not make or use any automated decisions

When your data gets sent to other countries?

We do not send any information we collect about you outside the United Kingdom

How long do we keep this information?

  • the length of time that we keep information for varies depending on what we use this information for, because there are different business and statutory needs for different processes that we follow
  • we hold tenancy for the duration of the tenancy, regardless of the length of time. We review this information every five years to improve accuracy and reduce duplication. Some of this information could be disposed of sooner. We also aim to remove any non-relevant information from files at the point that these are electronically archived
  • in particular information relating to any loans that have been issued must be retained for 12 years following repayment

What are your rights?

You have the right to request Harrogate Borough Council to stop processing your personal data in relation to any council service. Please read our main privacy notice for further details.