References to “Arun Estates”, “us”, or “we” relates to all brands and subsidiary companies of Arun Estate Agencies Ltd (Reg No. 2597969). This includes:
- Wards (sales & lettings)
- Cubitt & West (sales & lettings)
- Douglas Allen (sales & lettings)
- Pittis (sales & lettings)
- Fine & Country (Canterbury, Newport & Loughton)
- Home in One (insurance administration)
- Mortgage Matters Direct
- Arun Land & New Homes
- Home in One Financial Services Ltd
Further information about Arun Estates can be found at: https://www.arunestates.co.uk
How we use your data
In the general course of business, Arun Estates will process the personal information you provide to us, primarily to assist you in achieving the purpose for which you provided it to us. This includes the selling, buying and renting of property and associated services of arranging a mortgage, providing legal services and/or lettings management services, as relevant and necessary to your needs.
Any personal information that you provide to us will only be processed and/or shared in accordance with The Data Protection Act 2018 & The General Data Protection Regulations 2018 – collectively referred to here as DPA 2018. At least one of the following legal bases will always apply:
Legal Obligation – necessary for compliance with our legal obligations
This includes (but is not limited to) all laws relating to residential estate agency. In particular Estate Agents Act 1979, Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007, DPA 2018, Competition Act 1998, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs), Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs), Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, Consumer Rights Act 2015, Energy Act 2011, Money Laundering Regulations 2007, Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, Bribery Act 2010 and Modern Slavery Act 2015.
From time to time we may be asked to provide your data to assist in government department investigations e.g. Police, HMRC, Local Authorities. We will always check to ensure that such requests are legitimate and have relevant DPA 2018 exemptions before sharing information.
Contractual – necessary for the performance of a contract between you and us or pre-contractual requests made by you
This includes all contracts our customers enter into with us or our business partners, including (but not limited to) all forms of marketing agreements, landlord, tenant and tenancy agreements, the arranging of mortgages and insurance products, Homewise marketing agreements etc.
Some examples of where it would be necessary to process and/or share information to perform a contract would be:
- Marketing properties for sale or let and introducing buyers or tenants
- Marketing properties on Facebook as agreed
- Using your contact details to arrange viewings and negotiate offers
- Progressing sales and tenancies to a successful conclusion
- Applying to purchase Shared Ownership properties – this requires obtaining extensive and detailed information on behalf of the Housing Association
- Referencing tenants and carrying out Right to Rent checks via Homelet
- Progressing mortgage applications to a successful conclusion
- Mortgage contingency services as contractually agreed
- Letting Management providers e.g. Verismart, Fixflow, Smith & Byford
- Processing of applications for and administration of selected insurance products with external providers
- Accounting processes e.g. Barclays Bank, Sage software
- Software providers as necessary to support our business needs
In addition, our internal call centre will have access to your contact information in order to assist you when your local branch is busy taking other calls.
Legitimate Interests – processing/sharing information for the benefit of you, us and other parties on which your transaction depends. It will not be processed or shared on this basis if it would be detrimental to you to do so.
This primarily involves providing you with information about additional services we offer within Arun Estates that
will help you to achieve your property aims.
Some examples of this are:
- If you wish to buy a property and require a mortgage, we may invite you to meet with one of our in house mortgage advisors
- If you are aiming to buy a property to let, we may discuss our lettings management service with you
- If you are a landlord, we may send you details of any new investment opportunities we think may be of interest to you
- If you have a property which is not attracting high enough offers, we may discuss the possibility of letting in the short term while the market improves
- If we have arranged a fixed rate mortgage for you, as part of that service we may contact you towards the end of the fixed rate period to discuss the most attractive re-mortgage rates for your benefit
Information will only be shared by Arun Estates where it is in the legitimate interests of both the company and its customers or where consent has been obtained. Some examples are:
- Providing seller’s contact details to surveyors to arrange survey appointments
- Sharing information essential to understanding progress or delays in a transaction you are involved with
- Providing tenant’s contact details to contractors to arrange repairs
- Providing tenant’s contact details to external providers to carry out periodic inspection and check out reports
Consent – where you have given your consent for us to process and/or share your information in a particular way for a specific reason.
This includes every form of data processing and/or sharing that is not included in the above sections. Where you have provided consent, you may be contacted by carefully selected and professional third parties in relation to a product or service which may be of interest to you. This may include (but is not limited to) referrals to our conveyancing panel firms operated by Martin Tolhurst Solicitors for Wards and by MoveWithUs in other areas. It could also include referrals for the provision of additional legal services such as Wills and consent from landlords or tenants for referrals to energy or media providers.
If you have agreed to market your property using the Modern Method of Auction, which is operated by I Am Sold (IAS), or have agreed to IAS contacting you about Modern Auction, or if you are a prospective buyer interested in a property marketed by Modern Auction, your contact details and other information will be provided to I-Am-Sold to facilitate your interest.
The data you provide may be used for any or all of the following reasons:
- To contact you in order to carry out your instructions to us
- To provide you with information, products and services which you have requested from us
- To help you with information, products and services connected with and relevant to your property aims and in your interests e.g. mortgage, conveyancing services, lettings management services etc.
- To provide customer support e.g. out of hours phone services, website live chat facility etc
- To process payments and transactions
- To notify you about changes to our services
The information we use is normally restricted to the information you provide to us. This includes (but is not limited to) your full name, postal address, email address, telephone numbers, date of birth, demographic information and proof of funds that we are legally obligated to obtain from buyers. We also source information which is already in the public domain e.g. government, commercial and opted in marketing sources which is collated using APIs such as “Twenty CI”, “Twenty EA” and “T2A” operated by Simunix Ltd.
As with many large organisations, communications by telephone may be recorded for the purposes of monitoring and improving our customer service standards.
In the case of electronic communications, Arun Estates may use the information provided by customers in an existing business relationship or one that has ended within the last 12 months or one that is under negotiation. Otherwise we will contact you by post and include a method for opting out of future mailing.
We will never sell your data to any third party.
As Data Controller, we may instruct third parties to act on our behalf as Data Processors. We will only share your data
with such companies, strictly in accordance with a contractual arrangement between us and them to provide specific
services on our behalf. Such contracts commit those third parties to ensuring the protection of your personal
information and privacy.
Examples of this are:
- IT companies who provide software tools and support for our databases, websites and other business systems.
- Business software development and digital data collection companies to offer you a secure way of providing us with your personal information, perform research and analysis so that we can develop and implement initiatives to improve our services to you
These include; Blacksmiths Software Craftmanship, Starberry Limited, Dashly Limited and Mortgage Brain Limited. IT service providers may operate inside or outside of the UK but are contractually bound to uphold the obligations of DPA 2018.
We may also share your data with third parties to assist you with your property related needs across sales, lettings, conveyancing and mortgage services.
In order to comply with our legal obligations, we utilise online search providers to verify the identity of our customers. This includes Smartsearch and Experian, who retain a record of the search data which may be used to assist their other customers. Such searches leave a soft trace only and do not affect our customer’s credit rating.
Outside of these scenarios, the information we share with third parties offering support services will be restricted to property details only and will not include personal data. Examples of this are the companies who operate the ‘live chat’ facility on our website and those who handle our ‘out of hours’ telephone calls.
We may use your data for internal analysis to monitor and improve the services we provide.
In the event of you escalating a complaint to The Property Ombudsman redress scheme, they may utilise your contact information for their compliance mornitoring/survey processes.
Security of Your Data
We will securely retain all paper files containing your data in cabinets and offices which will be locked when unattended.
Electronic data is securely held and protected by anti-virus software and firewalls. Our servers are subjected to regular penetration tests to check that they are securely protecting your data. Data held on laptops is password protected and subject to the same anti-virus software and firewalls. No personal data is held on iPads or mobile telephones.
As with any company, we are unable to provide absolute guarantees due to the ever increasing sophistication of criminal activity. However we will do everything reasonably possible to ensure that your data is protected.
How long we will keep your information for?
Arun Estates will retain your data for as long as is necessary to provide you with the services requested until your property needs are met and to comply with our internal and regulatory requirements. This will vary according to the extent of your relationship with us. For example:
Data relating to an inactive customer e.g. a person whose property is not currently on the market (whether appraised by us or not), or who is not actively viewing properties will be retained for a period of up to 2 years from the time we last had communications with you, depending on whether your property needs have been met or not.
Data relating to a prospective buyer/tenant e.g. a person who has been introduced to one or more properties, either by way of a viewing appointment or by giving verbal/written property information, but who is not involved in a transaction or any other business activity through us, will be retained for 2 years after the last related property has been withdrawn. This is in order to ensure a complete record of activity against each corresponding property.
Data relating to a seller/buyer/landlord/tenant who has entered into a contract or is involved in any business transaction with us will be retained for a maximum period of 7 years from the end of the business relationship.
Data relating to mortgage customers will be retained for between 6 years and the lifetime of the mortgage, depending on our retention policy when the mortgage was arranged.
Data provided by customers raising service concerns will be retained for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 6 years, depending on the nature of those concerns.
How to contact us if you have concerns
If we are unable to resolve your concerns, The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) are the appointed regulators for DPA 2018 and can be contacted by email at: www.ico.org.uk or by telephone on 0303 123 1113.