New Zealand Law Society - Privacy Act guidance for landlords and tenants released

Privacy Act guidance for landlords and tenants released

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The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has released a set of guidelines on what information should and should not be collected by landlords when deciding whether someone will make a suitable tenant.

Privacy Act Guidance for Landlords and Tenants outlines the obligations of both parties under the Privacy Act to manage personal information responsibly.

The guidelines go through the privacy principles. They state that landlords need to collect, use and disclose personal information to determine a potential tenant's suitability to rent a property.

"It is also reasonable for a landlord to request more detailed information once a person becomes a tenant. Personal information requested by a landlord must always be reasonably connected to a tenancy."

The Privacy Commissioner says if a tenant is concerned about the type of information being requested, they can ask the landlord why it is required. If they think the information being requested is too intrusive, they can complain to the Privacy Commissioner.