Plymouth Community Homes Limited is committed to protecting the personal information we collect about you and will obtain, use and disclose this information only in accordance with legislation. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, Plymouth Community Homes is a Data Controller. This means that we collect personal data and decide how and why it is used and ‘processed’. We will only use it for the purposes listed below and for things that we have told you about in advance.
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.
We have published this privacy notice to tell you:
- What information we collect about you
- What we use your personal information for
- Who (if anyone) we pass it on to and how they use it
- How you can access the information we hold about you.
1. Information we may collect and hold from you
We may collect the following personal information about you:
A. When you first make an application for housing:
- Your name and contact details for use across the organisation and by our suppliers and partners
- Detailed personal information such as name, photo identification, age, sex, date of birth, ethnicity, income, National Insurance number, private expenditure data, employment status, 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, affordability information, eligibility for UK residency, 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
- Tenancy reference checks
- Your particular needs or preferences so that we can understand them better
- Medical information so that we can prioritise and assess a housing application
B. Additional information required to manage your tenancy and housing needs:
- Your support needs so we know how we can support and assist you before and during your tenancy
- Details relating to the repair and maintenance of your home
- Information that you provide to your relevant housing, maintenance or other dedicated team
- Feedback from our contractors about their appointments with you
- Information about allegations of anti-social behaviour
- Voice and image recordings for safety, crime prevention and quality management
C. To provide security:
- We may operate a CCTV system, which collects images and is used in accordance with CCTV policies and procedures
- We may collect information about individuals where they pose a substantial threat to our staff or contractors
D. To improve customer service delivery, 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 our service or the service provided by other individuals or suppliers and accidents or incidents involving you or your home
E. When you ask for additional services:
- If you ask us for care and support requirements we will hold detailed information about your needs and your family’s needs
- We will hold records of payments for the services provided to you
- If you contact us about money 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.
F. 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, our staff or public information sources including credit reference agencies
- We may also record factual information whenever you contact us or use our services, so we have a record of what happened
G. To help you buy/rent part or the whole of a home:
- Affordability checks
- Credit ratings or similar
2. What we use your personal information for
For providing our housing services to you:
- Keeping in touch, understanding your needs and inviting you to events
- Telling you about changes to Plymouth Community Homes
- 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, resident involvement initiatives and every day support services
- Tackling anti-social behaviour
- PCH colleague and customer security and health and safety
- 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.
- To ensure no group is disadvantaged in the design of our homes
3. Who else we may pass your information to
There may be times when we disclose your details to others, as follows below. Where required, we will ensure that we have appropriate information sharing protocols in place.
- Our staff, contractors and suppliers who provide services to you, or who provide services on our behalf, for example, housing contractors to undertake repairs or improvements to your home
- Another person acting on your behalf, where you have given permission for them to act
- 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
- Our solicitors and other advocacy partner organisations
- Our insurers, in case of public liability claims and similar
- Credit reference agencies for rental tenants
- 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 to collect former debt.
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 example detecting and preventing crime, prosecuting offenders and for the prevention and detection of fraud.
We do not give anyone access to your information in return for payment for their marketing or commercial purposes.
We will not share your personal information with anyone who claims to represent you unless we are satisfied that you have appointed them or they act in some recognised official capacity.
4. Call Recording
As part of our commitment to providing the best possible service to our customers we may record telephone calls to our Customer Service Centre and some other departments. This helps us to identify ways that we can provide you with a better service.
If your call is being recorded you will be informed by automated message at the beginning of your call.
We record calls:
- for staff training purposes, to help us improve the quality of our customer service and to ensure the information we provide is consistent and accurate
- to ensure we have not missed any important information you have provided
- to ensure we have an accurate record of your call, which may be needed to support any transactions that take place over the phone or if there is a dispute.
We understand your personal information is important and we are committed to protecting your privacy. We store the recordings securely for 12 months and destroy them after this period, unless they are part of a dispute, in which case we reserve the right to keep the call recordings as part of the dispute resolution.
5. 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. This is a Subject Access Request. We will charge a fee of £10, allowed by law, to cover our costs. The 40 days begins when we receive this fee. You can ask any of our staff or write to:
Plymouth Community Homes
How to request personal information from Plymouth Community Homes
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right, subject to certain exemptions, to have access to any personal information held about you, often referred to as the right of ‘subject access request’.
Unless we have lawful reason for withholding this information we will provide you with access.
Your rights when making a request
If we do hold personal information about you we will:
- give you a description of it
- tell you where is has come from
- provide you with a copy of the information held where you are entitled to it
The Subject Access Request Application Form and Guidance notes for Applicant will help you to make such a request, help us to locate the information you require and satisfy ourselves as to your identity. Whilst the form is helpful in providing all the necessary information we need to process your request, it is not compulsory.
Alternatively, you can write to:
Plymouth Community Homes
Proof of identity
To avoid personal data about one individual being sent to another, either accidently or as the result of deception, Plymouth Community Homes needs to be satisfied as to your identity. In most circumstances we will use the information that was obtained when you started your tenancy to confirm your identity. However on occasion we may ask you to provide further proof of identity before we are able to send your request to you.
Where a request is being made on behalf of a third party we will also ask for evidence of consent from the individual that the third party is acting on their behalf, such as a signed letter.
A fee of £10 will be payable for each request and a cheque or postal order made payable to Plymouth Community Homes should accompany your request. If you wish you pay by cash we can we can arrange for this to be accepted at our Service Information Centre at Frankfort Gate or at Plumer House, Crownhill. Please do not send cash.
Timescales and response
You will receive an acknowledgement within 5 working days and a full response within 40 calendar days from receipt of your request, from satisfactory proof of identity and from the information needed being requested.
What can I do if my data is not correct?
If you think the information is wrong you need to tell us. If we agree it is wrong we will arrange for it to be corrected or removed. You will then be able to see an amended copy of the information.
If you need more help on making a Subject Access Request, please telephone the Governance Team on 01752 388364.
Changes to this Privacy Notice
This statement will be reviewed regularly and may change.