As most people know, the new laws surrounding data protection come into force on 25th May.  

Considering the advances in technology, the amount and the way personal data is now collected, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) supersedes the Data Protection Act 1998. Designed to help customers gain a greater level of control, GDPR sets out how businesses must handle consumer data, which includes everything from names, addresses and contact details through gender and religion to IP addresses – any personal information they have on file.

To comply with the regulations and avoid some pretty hefty fines, all businesses must make sure the data they hold is secure, processed lawfully, transparently and for a specific purpose. You may have noticed a recent flurry of emails asking you to re-subscribe to mailing lists or give consent to contact you – well, this is what they’re all about.

GDPR is complex but in summary, businesses must have a consumers’ consent to hold their data; they must hold it securely; it must be made clear what the data is used for; and it must only be held while it is relevant. They must also have watertight privacy policies in place.

Estate agencies hold a great deal of personal information – about sellers, buyers, tenants, landlords and those interested in becoming any of those, so they must all audit their data and review their processes to comply.

In the last few months and weeks, members of the Experts in Property – the network of independent estate agencies through the South West – have undergone training in understanding GDPR and what they need to do to comply. In addition, the network is currently providing GDPR Compliance Packs containing everything they need to be ready for the greatest change in data protection law in the last 20 years.

So, when you instruct an office of the Experts in Property to sell or let your property; when you register as interested in buying or renting property; or anything else in between, your data is safe.

Steve Moir, chairman of the Experts in Property, said: “GDPR is just one of the vitally important topics in our comprehensive training programme. There are many benefits for consumers using our member agencies – one of which is having the support of our head office, which means the agents themselves have to take less time out of doing their actual job of selling and letting homes. When it comes to new legislation – GDPR or otherwise, our members are ready for it.”

EU GDPR image with textFor more information, talk to your local, fully compliant, fully supported expert in property – to find your nearest office, look for the logo in your local press or visit the Agents’ Directory at www.theexpertsinproperty.co.uk/agents-directory.

By Mathew Wood, Managing Director of Orchards Estates (01935 277977 or 01460 477977, www.orchardsestates.com)

In a word, no. Interestingly, statistics reveal that of the 7,430 people who moved into South Somerset between mid-2015 and mid-2016, only 520 came from London – that’s all 33 London Borough’s – which equates to just 7%. 

the Experts in Property’s Westcountry Property Exhibition held in conjunction with Lawsons and Daughters in Fulham, London last week was a great success.

The area was lively and bustling with shoppers, workers, commuters, and buyers, and in the exhibition area there was a definite feeling of positivity from both buyers and sellers.

Believe it or not some people aren’t on Facebook.

This rare breed of Homo Sapiens is probably feeling smug now as their personal data hasn’t been half-inched by a bunch of techie Arthur Daly’s intent on swaying elections.

Property for sale throughout Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Bristol will be on display at the Experts in Property Westcountry Property Exhibition, being held in Fulham on 13th April.

The 80-branch network of independent estate agencies has offices throughout the Westcountry, from St Ives to Bristol and Poole, and holds regular exhibitions in the capital with details of property as well as experts on hand to chat with potential buyers.