Privacy statement

We’re committed to protecting the personal information we collect about you. This privacy notice explains what happens to the information we collect for the purposes of housing management.

The Data Protection Act 1998 and other laws apply to our use of anyone’s personal information and everyone has rights regarding how their personal information is handled.

Information we may collect from you

We may collect the following personal information about you:

When you first make an application to us for housing:

  • Your name and contact details for use across the organisation and by our suppliers and partners
  • Detailed personal information, such as age, sex, date of birth, ethnicity, income, National Insurance number, private expenditure data, employment status, name, contact details (telephone numbers and email addresses), gender, gender identity, relationship status, any disabilities, religion, sexuality, nationality, caring responsibilities, access to financial services such as banks and credit unions, bank details, benefits, council tax, details of those who you want us to communicate with on your behalf, how you prefer us to contact you, whether you have any literacy problems, your ability to speak English and language preferences, requirements for different communication formats, your preferences for getting involved and the service areas that are of most interest to you
  • Your particular needs or preferences so that we can understand them better
  • Medical information so that we can prioritise and assess a housing application

Information required to manage your tenancy and contact you about your housing needs

  • Your support needs, so we know how we can assist you before and during your tenancy
  • Details relating to the repair and maintenance of your home
  • Information that you provide to your relevant local housing, maintenance or other dedicated team
  • Feedback from our contractors, about their appointments with you
  • Voice and image recordings for safety, crime prevention  and quality management

To help you buy part or the whole of your home

  • Affordability checks
  • Credit ratings or similar

To provide security

  • We operate a CCTV system, which collects images and is used in accordance with CCTV policies and procedures

To enhance your experience with us

  • You can give us details of your friends, relatives or neighbours who you trust to contact us on your behalf
  • Your name and contact details for customer satisfaction surveys, newsletters and service information
  • With your consent, your name, photo, video or story could be used for brochures, advertising or press releases
  • Details about complaints about our service or other individuals, accidents or incidents involving you or your home
  • Your comments about our service or our suppliers’ services

When you ask for additional services

  • Name and contact details for someone to contact you (the person may be a member of staff or from another organisation that we will tell you about)
  • If you ask us for care and support requirements we will hold detailed information about your needs and your family’s needs
  • Records of payments for the services provided to you
  • If you contact us about financial problems we will hold detailed information about your income and financial situation
  • If we offer you training or other learning opportunities we will ask about your employment and learning history
  • We may hold information about your history, for example, regarding credit status or offences, if we need it to look after our staff, business or anyone else

When we process information about you on behalf of another organisation you receive services from

  • We will receive the information we need to provide a service to you
  • We may get the information, or related information, from you or our partner organisations, your family, friends or neighbours, our staff or public information sources including credit reference agencies or the criminal records bureau
  • We may also record factual information whenever you contact us or use our services, so we have a record of what happened

What we use your personal information for

For providing our housing services to you

  • Keeping in touch with our customers, understanding your needs, and inviting you to events
  • Telling you about changes to The Guinness Partnership
  • Meeting your housing management needs and requirements
  • Managing payments from you, to you and for accounting purposes including debt collection
  • Providing additional services at your request, including skills training and every day support services
  • Prevention and detection of crime, and quality management
  • Meeting our legal obligations including the requirements of our funders or regulators
  • To resolve complaints and queries
  • To participate in initiatives to assist in the prevention of financial and social exclusion

Who else we may pass your information to

There may be times when we disclose your details to others, as follows:

  • Our staff, advocacy partners, contractors and suppliers who provide services to you, or who provide services on our behalf. Where required we will ensure that we have appropriate information sharing protocols in place
  • Housing contractors for example, to undertake repairs or improvements to your home
  • Our contractors who handle our out-of-hours service calls for us
  • Banks, for example, to carry out payments through a secure system
  • Companies that help us mail out leaflets/newsletters
  • Local authorities, other housing and support organisations and statutory agencies
  • Mediation partner organisations
  • Advocacy partner organisations
  • Our solicitors
  • Our insurers, in case of public liability claims and similar
  • Credit reference agencies for rental tenants
  • Debt collection agencies to collect current and former debt
  • External assistance where you have agreed to the referral, for example, to investigate money problems
  • Training providers or learning institutions
  • Utility companies
  • Debt collection agencies acting for others and on our behalf
  • Tracing agencies in order to recover debt where no forwarding address is known

In some cases we may have a duty to disclose your information by law to:

  • Our partner organisations whose purposes are compatible with ours
  • Other housing associations
  • Local authorities, regulators  and government departments
  • Police, fire services or health authorities, or medical staff
  • Others who may need information from us for their own purposes (for crime prevention or detection, for the prevention and detection of fraud, for the purposes of the National Fraud Initiative)

We don’t give anyone access to your information in return for payment for their marketing or commercial purposes, unless you give specific consent.

We won’t share your personal information with anyone who claims to represent you unless we’re satisfied that you have appointed them or they act in some recognised official capacity.

Accessing the information we have about you

You have a legal right to request information that we hold about you and we have a duty to respond within 40 days. We will charge a fee of £10, allowed by law, to cover our costs. The 40 day-period begins when we receive proof of identity and this fee. Find out how to request the information we hold about you.

Changes to this privacy notice

This statement will be reviewed regularly and may change. We will display the new statement in all of the places where it can usually be found, such as on our website and at our offices and outlets.