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Privacy policies not up to scratch

02 September 2014 Elyse Perrau

Major gaps in privacy compliance are plaguing the property management industry, according to industry professionals.

Urban Property Agents director of property management Ranita Patel recently witnessed the lack of privacy compliance in the industry.

“I just went and did a listing presentation last week and I caught up with the client just to see how everything was going,” she told Residential Property Manager.

“The client said she had two other agents that went through things and she said, ‘I am just a bit confused’; and I asked what about.

“She goes ‘You are the only person who has a privacy policy form in your package, no one else did’.

“I am surprised that a lot of people are not doing it.”

Also speaking to Residential Property Manager, Real+ business manager Hermione Gardiner said a few months ago privacy laws changed, and it was not just for real estate but for anyone collecting personal data.

“Conceptually in property management, whenever a tenant signs a tenancy application, generally what we find is 90 per cent of people’s application forms have the privacy statement built into that,” she said.

“I think what is missing in real estate and property management in general, is when the tenant is signing that lease, that tenant’s data then gets used across the business.

“So it gets used to speak to the landlord, to contractors [and] it can be provided to third-party providers if they sign off for it,” she added.

Ms Gardiner said there are some “major, major gaps” at the moment that most agencies wouldn’t even be thinking about.

“Say, for example, in your business you go and do prospecting and you go and prospect off the sales databases,” she said.

“It is whether those people have given consent to their data being used in the property management department - there are a lot of grey areas around that.

“There are many gaps in privacy compliance across several businesses we work with and so we can help our clients conduct a data audit to make sure they are compliant and help them find ways to streamline and automate the data management within their businesses in order to stay compliant and minimise risks,” she added. 

Privacy policies not up to scratch
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