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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Data protection

This page is for landlords operating in Northern Ireland.  You can find advice for tenants elsewhere on our website. Private landlords in Northern Ireland can call Landlord Advice on 028 9024 5640 and choosing option 5. Lines open Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 2.30pm.

Landlords and letting agents are required to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and to pay a registration fee. The fee that you will have to pay will depend on the size of your organisation. Most landlords and agents will register as a micro or small organisation. 

Who has to register?

Most organisations who collect and process personal data, including names and addresses, will have to register with the ICO. A landlord or letting agent will have to register if they process any personal information electronically or through manual filing systems for the purposes of property management. This includes collecting the names and details of any tenants or potential tenants. 

In the majority of cases, organisations must pay a fee to register, but there are some exemptions. You can use the ICO's self-assessment tool to work out if you have to pay a registration fee. If you don't pay or renew the fee when you are required to, you can be fined a maximum of £4,350.

Getting advice on data protection

The ICO website includes lots of guides on how to comply with data protection regulations and a self-assessment tool for sole traders and small businesses, which you can use to work out how well you currently comply with data protection requirements. 

The Residential Landlords Association has produced a free guide on data protection for landlords and provides more detailed information for members of the association.