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Privacy and the Rental Sector

29-Mar-2022 10:00:00

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In the November issue of the Property Management Focus newsletter, we included extracts from a press release from the Privacy Commissioner. In the release, it was announced that there would be a focus on compliance with the Privacy Act 2020 within the rental sector from March 2022.
Harcourts property managers take privacy very seriously and we have recently undertaken several training sessions to ensure that we understand why privacy is so important and what we can do to ensure that our processes are compliant with the Privacy Act. This included engaging directly with Jackie Adams from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) on a Zoom meeting, additional training with Tenancy.co.nz, and accessing the OPC courses and information sheets.

One of the major concerns for the OPC is the collection and use of personal information when a tenant is applying for a rental property. The amount of information collected on prospective tenants can be more than what is reasonable to establish if someone will be a good tenant or not. In addition to the amount of information collected on an individual, there can be many applicants for any given property, many of whom do not make the ‘preferred applicant’ stage.

Tenancy applications are now submitted in stages, with property managers only getting the more sensitive information once a prospective tenant has been selected as a preferred applicant. Harcourts partners with Tenancy.co.nz which provides the ability for tenants to apply for properties securely, online and in accordance with all the compliance requirements from the OPC.

These articles were featured in Property Management Focus Issue 3, 2022

Topics: Property Management, Privacy