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How we use your Personal Information

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WHO WE ARE

This privacy notice covers all personal information that is collected and used by Accent Housing Limited (Registered Society Number 19229R) and Accent Corporate Services Limited (registered society number 29264R)

Changes to this privacy notice
We may update this privacy notice from time to time, so we recommend that you check it occasionally.

THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT

We have to collect personal information so that we can provide our services to you. The information we collect may include:

Personal Information

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address 
  • Gender
  • National Insurance number
  • Date of Birth 
  • Financial information and circumstances including income and benefit details
  • Other information that could identify you


Sensitive personal information (Special categories)

  • We may also collect information that is more sensitive, which includes: 
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Sexual preferences 
  • Religious beliefs
  • Health including any disabilities


Other types of information we collect include:

  • Immigration status
  • How you use our services
  • Tenancy related banking or payment details
  • Customer feedback including satisfaction surveys and complaints
  • Employment status
  • Medical, health, personal appearance and behaviour
  • Criminal activity and proceedings
  • CCTV images and/or voice recordings


We process personal information about the following people:

  • Residents and household members
  • Housing applicants and household members 
  • People who reply to our surveys
  • Employees, including self-employed contractors and consultants
  • Other people who have contacted us


Your credit or debit card information
If you use your credit or debit card to pay your rent or service charge, we pass your card details securely to our payment processing partner as part of the payment process. We do this in line with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) that we have to comply with. We do not store your details on our website or our databases.

 

HOW AND WHY WE USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
  • We collect information about you when you use our services.
  • We sometimes receive personal information from other companies – for example, we may be working with another organisation such as the police or social services. 
  • We may use service providers to help us carry out research and analysis on our services and this can result in new personal data being created. We will let you know if this happens. 
  • We collect information from social media; this includes when you post on our social media sites. 
  • When you apply to us for housing, when you contact us about our activities, send or receive information or engage with our social media, you are giving us your personal information.


Data protection law says that we are allowed to use personal information only if we have a proper lawful reason to do so. We use the following lawful reasons:

  • To manage a contract that you have with us, or will be entering into with us. This will be your tenancy agreement or your lease.
  • To meet a legal duty.
  • To do something that is in the public interest.
  • When it is in our legitimate interests to do something.*
  • When you give us your permission to use your personal information.
  • To protect a person’s vital interests (in other words to protect someone from serious harm).


* A legitimate interest is when we have a business reason to use your personal information, but even then, it must not unfairly go against what is right and best for you.

Here is a list of the all of the ways that we may use your personal information:


Applying for a Home

When you apply for a home with us, we will need to collection personal information about you and the people who will be living with you. We will also need to take your photograph and ask for proof that you have the right to rent in the UK. 

We will ask about where you are living now and where you have lived in the last five years. We will need to carry out some checks with your previous landlord and, in certain circumstances, contact other agencies for example the housing benefit department, the police or the probation service. 

We will ask about any health problems, disabilities or special family circumstances. You do not have to give us this information but it will help us find you the right home and provide you with the right services if you do. 

In certain cases, we may need to carry out extra checks on the information you have given us. For example, we may need to do a credit check or check the electoral register. 

Managing your tenancy or lease
We will use your personal information to collect your rent and service charge and to arrange repairs and servicing to your home. We also may sometimes need to use your personal information to deal with anti-social behaviour and to investigate and respond to complaints or other feedback you may give us. 

We may sometimes share personal information with utility companies and council tax departments to make sure that any bills connected with your home are paid and up to date. 

Improving our services and customer satisfaction
We often use your personal information to look at ways of improving our services and to better understand your needs, circumstances, preferences and interests.

We may also ask you to take part in customer satisfaction surveys but you can always tell us if you would prefer not to take part in these surveys anymore. We will do this by including an ‘opt-out’ link at the bottom of any email surveys or you can get in touch on 0345 678 0555 and tell us.

Keeping your personal information up to date
To help make sure that the personal information we hold about you is kept accurate and up to date, we may sometimes use information sources that are in the public domain to verify your details. The information we collect from these third party sources may include, for example, email and contact preferences, information on lifestyle choices and household details. We may also use this additional information to further improve how we provide services to you, and how we talk to you and what we talk to you about.

You can help use keep our records up to date by telling us when your contact details and other personal information changes. If at any time you wish to change how we communicate with you, or update the information we hold about you, please get in touch with us on 0345 678 0555. You can also update some of your own information yourself by logging into your account on the Accent Customer Portal.

Marketing, Profiling and Research
We never share your personal information with other organisation for them to use for their marketing activities and you will not receive offers from other organisations as a result of you giving your information to us.

If, you have previously expressed an interest in receiving marketing or promotional information from us by ‘opting-in’ to our marketing preferences, we may send you information by email or telephone about, for example, the homes we have available to let or the events we are planning. You can ‘opt-out’ or unsubscribe from receiving this sort of information at any time by clicking on the link included with the email or by contacting us on 0345 678 0555.

We may also send you promotional information by post and you can opt-out of this at any time by contacting the number above.

We analyse the personal information we collect about you to create a personal profile about you and your tenancy. We use this information to decide the best way to talk to you, what things we need to talk to you about and to improve the services we provide to you. If you would like to know more about this, or if you would prefer us not to use your information in this way, please contact us on 0345 678 0555.

Getting in touch with you about things that may affect you
From time to time, we may need to get in touch with you to tell you about service changes and other things that affect you. You can tell us how you would like to be contacted about these things and, wherever possible, we will make sure we use your preferred method.

Photographs and publications
With your permission, we may use your photographs and video recordings in our magazines, newsletters, annual reports and on our website and social media channels. If you no longer want us to use your images in this way, you can withdraw your permission at any time, by contacting us on 0345 678 0555.

We may use your images for up to three years, but the information we produce may circulate in the public domain for longer.

How long do we keep your personal information
We will only keep your information for as long as we need to provide our services and comply with the law.

We will normally keep your personal information that relates to a tenancy or lease for up to six years after your tenancy ends or when you sell your home. This allows us to meet certain legal duties and provide any further services that you may need, such as giving references to another landlord. Depending on the circumstances though, we may need to keep your personal information for longer particularly if you need to settle any rent or service charges.

Recorded telephone calls, CCTV and audio recordings
We may record and store information that we have collected by telephone, in CCTV images, in photographs and noise recordings. Where applicable:

  • Calls made to our 0345 678 0555 or 0345 678 0558 or other 0345 numbers are recorded for training and monitoring purposes
  • Recordings are kept for a period of up to 6 months
  • Some of our properties have CCTV installed or we may choose to install CCTV or noise monitoring equipment to prevent or investigate crime or anti-social behaviour, or for security purposes. 
  • Other residents or members of the public may send us images, videos or audio files to help us investigate and deal with crime and anti-social behaviour. 
  • For these reasons, the information that we receive or collect may include personal appearance and behaviours. This information may be about employees, customers, tenants or other members of the public.


We may sometimes need to share the above information with the police, courts, tribunals or other law enforcement agencies, our employees and suppliers.

SHARING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

We often need to share the personal information we collect with other organisations., This may happen, when another company provides a service on our behalf and there may be times when we have to share your personal information by law . We will always be able to advise why your information was shared. We share information with:

  • Family members, friends or representatives (where you have given us permission) 
  • Suppliers and service providers including our repairs contractors
  • Financial organisations
  • Central and local government including local authorities 
  • Our auditors
  • Companies that carry out surveys and research for us
  • Other housing associations
  • Health authorities
  • Health and/or social workers
  • Professional advisers
  • Police, courts, tribunals, probation services or other law enforcement agencies
  • Charities and voluntary organisations
  • Credit reference agencies
  • Other landlords

Sometimes, we may share personal information with other organisations to prevent or detect crime or to meet legal duties. For example, if we think a crime has been committed, we may share information with the police; or we may be asked by another organisation to share information with them to comply with the law.

If we think someone is committing fraud, for example, illegally sub-letting their home, we may need to investigate and collect some information from other organisations such as the local council.

From time to time, we take part in an exercise called the National Fraud Initiative. This involves matching information between different organisations to prevent and detect fraud. The information we share as part of this exercise is not used for any other purpose. You can find out more about the National Fraud Initiative here

We also have to share statistical information with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government about the types of homes that we rent and sell and the people we provide housing to. For more information click here.

We may collect and use personal information if we think that someone is at risk from harm, and we may share personal information with other organisations (such as health or support services) to protect them.

KEEPING YOUR INFORMATION SAFE

We will make sure that we take all appropriate security measures to protect any information that you (or other companies) have given us. We will take all reasonable steps to protect against accidental loss, destruction or damage to your personal information.

We sometimes use other companies (such as our repairs contractors and mailing companies) to help us deliver our services. We will always make sure that there is a contract in place that requires both companies to comply with data protection laws; make sure that they have appropriate safeguards in place to keep your information safe; and only use your personal information to deliver our services. We do not allow these companies to use your data for their own purposes.

Transferring your information outside the UK
We may sometimes use suppliers or service providers that are based overseas. We will make sure that any supplier or service provider that is based overseas has the appropriate safeguards in place to keep your information safe and secure.

Some of these companies may be based outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) but we will still make sure that your information is secure and used properly.

Use of Email
Emails are not always secure. They can be intercepted and changed after they have been sent. We do not accept liability if this happens. You should never send us any financial information through email.

YOUR RIGHTS AND COMPLAINTS

You have the right to have a copy of the personal information we hold about you. In most cases, there will not be a charge for this and have to provide the information to you within one month.

You also have the right to have any incorrect information we hold about you corrected and, in certain cases, you have the right to ask us to delete some of the information we hold about you (unless we have a lawful reason to keep it). You have the right to ask us to move, copy or send your information to another company and to also have the right to ask us not to profile you (see the Marketing, Profile and Research section above for more information).

If you would like a copy of your personal information or if you would like to know more about your rights and how to exercise them, you can get in touch using the details below. You can also contact on the details below if you are not happy with how we handle your personal information.

Write to: Customer Contact Centre, Accent Housing Limited, Charlestown House, Acorn Park Industrial Estate, Otley Road, Baildon, BD17 7SW
Email: customerservices@accentgroup.org
Tel: 0345 678 0555

If you are still unhappy with how we handle your personal information after contacting us, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns

Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to us, but we want to be accountable for our actions. We want to give you the change to see how we conduct our business and challenge us on anything you think is expensive, unreasonable or unnecessary.

We will consider any requests for information that is not shown on this, or other pages, but we have the right to refuse to share information that we feel, for instance, puts our business at risk, concerns legal matters, or that puts us in breach of data protection laws.
Unless we are legally obliged to share other information, we will consider the following when asked to share:

  • Whether the information is actually useful to the person asking for it
  • Value for money – if the cost of supplying the information is justified
  • Whether the information is sensitive to the business or any individual

The final decision as to whether a piece of information is shared or not rests with the executive team or the appropriate customer services committee.

OUR WEBSITE

Our web site, is an internet based service created and published by Accent Group Limited. When you use our site, you accept the following terms and conditions.

If these terms and conditions need to change at any time, it is our responsibility to publish them. It is your responsibility to check if any changes have been made and, if they have and you continue to use the site, this signifies you have accepted them.

Links to other Websites
The Accent website contains links to other websites that we feel might be useful to you. Once you have used these links to leave our site, we are not responsible for the collection, protection and privacy of any information that you give to other sites when visiting them, as they are not governed by this privacy notice. You should be cautious and look at the privacy notice relating to the website you visit.

Use of our Website and Cookies
We may collect information when you visit our website, depending on how you use it. This is done by using cookies. Cookies can help a website to personalise your visit. We do not collect personally identifiable information with cookies but if you wish to block the use of cookies that are set then this can be done through your internet browser.

We may monitor how people use our website or our online services so that we can improve them. We collect this information anonymously. The information we may record includes:

  • The areas of the website people visit
  • The amount of time people spend on the site
  • Whether people are new to the site, or have visited it before
  • How people come to our website – for example, by searching or an email link
  • The type of devices and browsers people use
  • How people use the website or our online services and the quality of their experience


People can use our website anonymously without giving us their information but if they want to use our online services then we need to collect personal information so that they can have an online account.

If you use our Online Services such as MyAccount then we may analyse information that is provided to us from web analytics services such as Google Analytics.  This enables us to track who has visited MyAccount, the length of time you have spent on the site, when you visited and which pages you have visited. As well as the information that is collected above, Google Analytics also includes: your customer reference ID so that we can identify individuals from the information analysed by the web analytics service.

Using Accent content
Any content within the pages of our website must not be copied, reproduced, republished, downloaded, posted, distributed, broadcast or transmitted in any way without our prior, written consent. Permission to use our content must be applied for in writing from our media and communications specialist:

Heather Jacklin
Accent Group 
Charlestown House
Acorn Park Industrial Estate
Otley Road, Shipley
West Yorkshire, BD17 7SW

Using this site
The Accent site must only be used for lawful purposes, and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict or inhibit the use and enjoyment of this site, by any third party. 

This site and the information, names, images, pictures, logos and icons regarding or relating to Accent Group, its products and services (or to third party partnerships, products and services), is provided without any representation or endorsement and without warranty of any kind whether expressed or implied. In no event will we be liable for any damages of any kind arising out of, or in connection, with the use of this site, or by unauthorised or unlawful use of any of its content by other parties.

We cannot guarantee that this website or its content is fully functional, accurate, reliable and error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or its server are free of viruses or bugs.

Use of links
Any links that we provide to other web sites are given in good faith, and for assistance or information only. In using links, our website is exited and the user is accepting the terms and condition of the linking website. In no event will we be liable or accountable for any subsequent use of links to other websites we publish. Although we may provide links, this does not indicate endorsement of any kind.

If you are an organisation that wishes to link to the Accent website, please contact the communications team for permission. Failure to do so may result in your link being removed.

Conflicts of information
If, from time to time, there is other information that contradicts or conflicts with these terms and conditions, it will not take precedence over them.

Agreement to terms and conditions
If you do not agree to these terms and conditions in full, then you must log out of the Accent web site immediately. These terms and conditions apply every time you use our web site.

Company Rules
Our company and society rules are not available to download from our website. If you would like copies of any of them, please contact us on 0345 678 0555.