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DATA-PROTECTION  2004

DATA-PROTECTION 2004

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Subject:

Re: Disclosure of letter content

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 6 Apr 2004 04:55:17 EDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (83 lines)

Brenda

Two exemptions may be relevant.  One, in relation to third party idetity, if
the letter says things like "my tenant does this . . .etc" then it will
inevitably identify the third party.  As the removal of this data is not compulsory
or automatic and you should consider whether the removal is reasonable, there
are factors to consider, such as:

1) Would the landlord consent to the disclosure?  Have you asked?
2) Are the claims maliciously untrue? Is the landlord out for revenge?
3) Would you breach the accused's human rights by not revealing the
allegations?

The second exemption is s29 in relation to criminal enquiries.  Are you going
to prosecute?  Would releasing the data prejudice the prosecution?  Would you
have to reveal anyway in order to get a prosecution?

Another consideration is the forthcoming (presumably civil) case.  If the
tenant needs the information for defence purposes, will s35 allow you to disclose
for those purposes, thereby overriding the non-disclosure provisions?

Incidentally, if the allegations turn out to be untrue (have you checked
whether the tenant is on benefits and whether those benefits would be affected by
the alleged activities?) the tenant could sue.  Are the details you have
retained (eg the rent arrears) relevant and not excessive in relation to the
benefits system?  If not, they should be deleted.

Ian B

Ian Buckland
Managing Director
Keep IT Legal Ltd

Please Note: The information given above does not replace or negate the need
for proper legal advice and/or representation. It is essential that you do not
rely upon any advice given without contacting your solicitor.  If you need
further explanation of any points raised please contact Keep I.T. Legal Ltd at
the address below:

55 Curbar Curve
Inkersall, Chesterfield
Derbyshire  S43 3HP
(Reg 3822335)
Tel: 01246 473999
Fax: 01246 470742
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Website: www.keepitlegal.co.uk

--------------

In a message dated 05/04/04 16:13:41 GMT Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:


> There is a forthcoming court case involving a landlord and tenant. The
> landlord has written to our Housing Benefit section stating that the
> tenant is overdue with his rent. The landlord has also said that he
> believes the tenant is falsely claiming Housing Benefit for a number of
> reasons that are stated in the letter. All these facts have been entered
> on the notepad section of the Benefit system. The tenant has made a
> Subject access request. The landlord has already sent him a copy of the
> part of the letter relating to the overdue rent, but not the Benefit fraud.
>
> My question is, do we disclose the whole content of the notepad ?
>
> I would think we need to get the landlord's permission as I understand
> from the Benefits section that he can be identified from the content. Does
> anyone else have any views ?
>



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