What is the ICO?
ICO is the abbreviation for the Information Commissioner’s Office. It’s the independent body responsible for making sure that organisations comply with UK data privacy law.
Do landlords need to register with the ICO?
In short, yes. Most landlords do need to register with the ICO.
The ICO has stated that landlords must register with them if they are doing any of the following activities:
- process personal data for the purpose of producing tenancy agreements/contracts,
- perform credit checks via a credit reference agency on prospective tenants,
- obtain references,
- keep a database of potential tenants,
- make a decision as to which tenant can rent a property, or
- receive electronic copies of tenancy agreements.
Landlords are exempted from registering if they use letting agents who fully manage the letting of the properties. They can only receive the monthly statement and rent.
This exemption includes only the most “hands off” landlords, who don’t even receive copies of the tenancy agreements. This means that almost all landlords should register with the ICO.
How to register with the ICO
It’s very easy for landlords to register. It’s an online process that takes about 5 minutes. They will email you with a request for payment after you’ve applied to register. Click here for the direct link to the registration page on the ICO website.
The fee for a landlord to register is £40 for a landlord to register with the ICO, assuming they qualify as a micro organisation with a turnover of under £632,000 and fewer than 10 staff. The ICO currently offers a £5 discount if payment is by direct debit (last checked April 2023).
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