Privacy notice

whg CUSTOMER PRIVACY NOTICE

19/04/18

whg needs to hold and process information about you and your circumstances.  Some of this information is personal data; this means it can be used to identify you.  The law gives you rights around what happens to this personal information. 

This Privacy Notice is for our customers.  It tells you who we are, what information we will collect, how we will use it, how we will keep it and who we will share it with.

About whg

‘whg’ means Walsall Housing Group Limited, a social housing provider.  Our registered company address is 100 Hatherton Street, Walsall WS1 1AB.

We are a ‘Data Controller’ registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, registration reference Z667510X.   

You can find out more information about us on our website at www.whg.uk.com or please ask any of our colleagues.

The Data Protection Officer for whg is Helen Lane.  She can be contacted by email at helen.lane@whgrp.co.uk or on 0300 555 6666.

  • What information we keep about you and why

    This is the information we will collect about you and how we will use it:

     

    INFORMATION WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU

    WHAT WE DO WITH IT

    Your name, date of birth, marital status, contact details (address, phone numbers, email address)

    Emergency contact name/number

    Names and dates of birth of the other members of your household

    To offer you a property/to invite you to pre-tenancy training.

    To keep records of you as our customer. 

    To keep in touch with you about repairs, your rent, give you information etc.

    To deliver a service that you have requested, for example training or wellbeing activities.

    Former landlord reference

    Referrals from councils

    Proof of income

    Credit check

    To assess whether you are eligible for a home and that you will be able to afford it.

    Proof of identity for example passport, driving licence etc.

    National Insurance Number

    To record your Right to Rent in the UK.

    Needed for payment of benefits.

    Bank account and direct debit details

    Universal Credit/Housing Benefit  claims

    Rent payments

    Rent arrears records

    Housing Benefit overpayments

    Notices of Seeking Possession

    To set up your rent account and make sure you make regular payments.  To try and make sure you don’t get into arrears, and to help you if you do. 

    If you pay us using your payment card we do not store the details, for your added security.  

    Physical / mental health or mobility problems* (if you choose to tell us)

    Health history*

    Care or support plan*

    Name and contact details of your carer and/or doctor; any medication you are on*

    Occupational Therapist reports*

    Safeguarding information*

    To make sure we provide you with any support that you need.  To help you to apply for other benefits you might be entitled to, including adaptations to your home.

    To work jointly with other agencies to help you.

    Right to Buy/Right to Acquire applications

    Letters from solicitors

    Mutual exchange applications

    To deal with your application to buy your home or to exchange your home with another person (if you decide to do so)

    Customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction)  and survey information, if you have given us your feedback

    To make sure that we are providing a good service and to learn from our mistakes.

    Tenancy history including a record of repairs you have requested, gas servicing etc.

    To keep a record of the repairs and other works that we have done to your property.

    Evidence of fly tipping e.g. letters/photographs.

    Details of recharges and evidence, including photographs

    To try and find out who has left rubbish near our properties so we can deal with the problem.

    To get back any money that you owe us for repairs.

    Reports of challenging or violent behaviour and warning markers

    To keep our colleagues and contractors safe

    Home insurance details and claims history

    To administer your home contents insurance service, if you choose to do this 

    Garage licence

    Licence for access or parking

    If you rent a garage from us or have a special arrangement for parking or access over somebody else’s land.

    Information relating to any legal cases for example rent arrears, disrepair claims and boundary disputes.

    To keep records of any problems that crop up during your tenancy.

    Information about any anti-social behaviour or other breaches of tenancy.

    Acceptable Behaviour Contracts or Injunctions.  

    To try and deal with problems so that you and your neighbours can live peacefully in your homes.

     

    CCTV and other camera footage, voice and video recordings

    Noise recordings

    Records of incidents

    For safety and crime reduction.  We record all the calls coming into our Contact Centre for quality management and colleague training.

     Photographs taken at events

    To tell people about our work or to use in our customer or colleague magazines (you don’t have to agree to this – we will ask your permission) 

    Ethnicity*

    Sexuality*

    Religion*

    To monitor equal opportunities.  To help you (if you choose to tell us), for example if you need some support or have been harassed because of any of these things.

    Complaints/enquiries from you or made on your behalf by MPs, councillors or others at your request 

    To deal with your enquiries or complaints.

    For customers who are involved in our Customer Network, Scrutiny Panel or Customer Services Committee

    Contact details, application forms, training records

    To recruit you to take part in one of our customer groups, for example Customer Network or Scrutiny Panel.

    To keep in contact with you about meetings and workshops etc. 

    For customers involved in one of our projects or training opportunities:

    Employment status

    Qualifications

    To start you on one of our training programmes (at your request).


    * Some of the above information that we need to collect is sensitive in nature and is considered to be in a ‘special category’ i.e. racial or ethnic origin, health or disability, religion and sexuality.  

  • Where does the information come from?

    Most of the information we have about you and your family comes from you.  We record information whenever you contact us or use our services so that we have a record of what happened.

    We may also get information from our partner organisations, your family, friends or neighbours, somebody who makes a complaint on your behalf or our colleagues.

    We may get information about you from the police, Probation Services, Social Services, Disclosure and Barring Service or courts under certain circumstances. 

    We get information from other public information sources including credit reference agencies.

    We get information about your benefits and Council Tax from the Department of Work and Pensions and your local Council.

  • Fraud

    One of the ways we use your information is to prevent and detect crime.  We share information with partners and other agencies to detect housing fraud and prevent benefit fraud.  In particular, whg will identify and act on cases of tenancy fraud where customers are applying for or living in a property that they are not entitled to. 

  • Violent or abusive behaviour

    If you are violent or abusive to whg colleagues, customers or other residents, we may decide to place a “violent warning marker” on your customer record in order to protect whg colleagues.  If we do this, we will write and tell you why and you will have the right to appeal against our decision. 

    We will share this information with our partners, for example our contractors or the Fire Service in order to protect their colleagues too.

  • Keeping your information

    We will usually keep information about you for as long as you are our customer and for another six years.  Legal documents may need to be kept for 12 years.

    whg uses our industry standard Retention Schedule to determine how long we keep information.

    We will store your information securely in computer systems or in certain circumstances in manual files.  We will dispose securely of all information when it is no longer necessary for the purposes of administering your tenancy.

  • Who we will share your information with

    We will share some or all of the information we hold about you with:

    • The appropriate people at whg and the other companies in the Group, depending on what services you need (for example the Community Safety team or Money Advisors)
    • Other companies that deliver services on behalf of whg, such as contractors that carry out repairs or handle our out of hours calls, IT service providers, banks, companies that assist us in mailing out newsletters and rent statements, professional advisors and auditors
    • Your local council, Social Services and Department of Work and Pensions
    • We send information about new lettings to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – this does not identify individuals but provides information for research purposes on all social housing lettings
    • Probation Services, NHS
    • Solicitors or legal advisors
    • Other landlords (if you want to move to another property or to get references)
    • Energy and water suppliers, to set up your utilities or help you to sort out bills

    We may share your information with the police for the prevention and detection of crime, including fraud and benefit fraud.

    We only share the minimum amount of personal data necessary to enable us to fulfil our legal obligations.

    We will not sell your personal data.

  • Lawful basis for collecting and processing your information

    The law says that we have to meet a legal condition under the Data Protection Act 2018 before we can process (which includes sharing) your personal data.  

    The conditions which usually apply for the personal data that we process for customers are:

    For the performance of a contract: for our landlord / tenant service

    To comply with a legal obligation: for example, to check your Right to Rent in the UK

    For our or your legitimate interests: this allows us to collect your name, contact details and other non sensitive information and share it with our partners for our own administrative purposes or in line with our policies.  This includes sharing your information with Rental Exchange. 

    The conditions that apply for processing sensitive information are:

    To make sure that we are providing equal opportunities: this is why we ask you for your ethnicity, whether you have a disability etc.  You don’t have to tell us this information if you don’t want to, unless you want us to take it into account to provide a service to you or move you to a more suitable home.

    To protect your vital interests: for example if you have an accident or are taken ill, or if we believe that you or a member of your household might be in danger.

  • Areas where we need your consent
  • Rental Exchange

    whg is a member of Rental Exchange.  We share your tenancy details and rent payment history with a company called Experian to help you create an online proof of identify, proving to organisations that you are who you say you are.

    This gives you the credit you deserve for paying your rent on time – in the same way as your mortgage payments would if you were a home owner – and improves your credit report.  It creates an online history of your rental payments to prove to companies that you are a reliable potential customer by proving who you are and where you live.

    A good credit profile will make it easier for you to open or change bank accounts, shop online, get better mobile phone rates or better gas and electricity rates, or get a better credit card deal.

    This arrangement also helps us as your landlord to build a clearer view of your financial well-being, to identify customers who may be in financial stress or are at risk of falling behind on payments in future.  This helps us to help you if you are in danger of getting into difficulties.

    If you do not want your data to be shared with Rental Exchange, please email helen.lane@whgrp.co.uk with your name and address with the words Rental Exchange opt-out in the subject line.  If you have no access to email you can also call 0300 555 6666 and speak to a colleague about the Rental Exchange programme.

  • Social media

    We may get your information from social media, whether on our own sites or elsewhere.  Where you make something public on whg’s website or social media you give us your consent, to copy, use and reproduce any of your contributions for any purpose.

    Where something you put on social media (whether on our own site or elsewhere) is inappropriate and constitutes a breach of our policies or any laws, we may take the following actions:

    • Issue you with a warning.
    • Start legal proceedings against you for reimbursement of all costs resulting from the breach
    • Report you and disclose information to the appropriate law enforcement authority or statutory body as we feel is necessary.
    • Publish information about you as we reasonably feel is appropriate, publicly (which may include social media).

    We may also withdraw your right to use our social media or remove/edit any posting or material uploaded by you to our social media.

  • Statutory or contractual requirements

    Most of the information we hold about you and your household is used to fulfil a contractual obligation (between whg as your landlord and you as our customer) or a legal obligation (for example, providing your details to the Department of Work and Pensions).

    If you don’t provide us with your information, we won’t be able to provide you with a landlord service. 

  • Your rights

    The law gives you the following rights about what we do with your personal information – the right to:

    • be informed about what we do with your personal information (which is why we have published this Customer Privacy Notice and a leaflet)
    • get a copy of the information we hold about you (this is known as a Subject Access Request)
    • ask us to correct information that is wrong
    • stop us from doing certain things with your information, for example if you think the information is wrong
    • object to us using it for marketing
    • get us to delete your information in certain circumstances
    • get an electronic copy of your information so that you can send it to another company
    • object to any important decisions being taken about you automatically
    • claim compensation (through the courts) if we misuse your information
    • if you have previously given us your consent to use your information for something, you can change your mind

    If you want a copy of the information we hold about you (rather than information about your rent, repairs or your home) or want to know more about any of these rights, ring 0300 555 6666 and ask to speak to the Data Protection Officer. 

  • Automated decision making

    We do not use computers to make automatic decisions about our customers.

  • Questions and concerns

    If you have any questions about the way in which we collect, process or store your information please speak to any colleague or the Data Protection Officer.

  • Asking for a copy of your personal data

    If you want a copy of the information we hold about you (this does not include information about your rent, repairs or your home), email helen.lane@whgrp.co.uk or ring 0300 555 6666 and ask to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

  • Making a complaint

    You can make a complaint about the way that we handle your personal information by following our usual complaints procedure. 

    If you feel that we have not dealt with your complaint properly, you can contact the Independent Information Commissioner's Office.  Go to https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ for more details or phone 0303 123 1113.

  • Changes to this Privacy Notice

    This Privacy Notice will be updated from time to time to reflect changes either to the way in which we operate or changes to the data protection legislation.  To make sure that you keep up to date, we suggest that you revisit this notice from time to time.

Use of cookies by this site

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

The tables below explains the cookies we use and why.

First Party Cookies

Cookie

Type

Expiry

Linked Info

Functions

CFID

CFTOKEN

JSESSIONID

Persist

Persist

Session

2 hours

2 hours

Session end

Username

When a user logs in, maintains Authentication state.

VOPECRA

Persist

Never

Anonymous

Remembers when a user has elected to accept cookies.


Third Party Cookies

Cookie

Name

Type

Expiry

Functions

Google Analytics

_utma

_utmb

_utmc

_utmz

Persistent

2 years

30 mins

End of session

6 months

These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our websites.
We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site.
The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.

Click here for an overview of privacy at Google.

Google Translate

googtrans

Session

End of session

Stores your chosen language (if you decide to change it from English). This means that you do not have to select your chosen language every time that you load a new page.

Click here for an overview of privacy at Google.

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.

To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Google Analytics Demographic Tracking:

We use “Google Analytics” to collect anonymous information about use of this site.

Google Analytics collects information such as how often users visit this site, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to this site. We use the information we get from Google Analytics only to improve this site.

Although Google Analytics plants a permanent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit this site, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but Google. Google’s ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics about your visits to this site is restricted by the Google Analytics Terms of Use (as amended for government websites) and the Google Privacy Policy.

Google Analytics employs cookies to define user sessions, which allows for the collection of data about how visitors are using the websites.

The standard Google Analytics tracking function uses first party cookies.  This means that the cookies are linked to a specific website domain, and Google Analytics will only use that cookie data for statistical analysis related to your browsing behaviour on that specific website.  According to Google, the data collected cannot be altered or retrieved by services from other domains.

In addition to the standard Google Analytics first party cookie, we have also enable Google’s Advertising Features. This includes the following functions:

  • Demographics and Interest reporting
  • Remarketing,
  • GDN Impression Reporting,
  • DoubleClick Campaign Manager integration

We primary utilise third party cookies to track anonymous age, gender and interest data in order to improve the website experience for our users.

These features collect data about web traffic via Google advertising cookies and anonymous identifiers

If you choose, you can opt out by turning off cookies in the preferences settings in your web browser. For more information on Google Analytics, please visit Google Analytics. You can also make use of Google’s opt out tool within Chrome.