Portsmouth City Council is a registered Data Controller (Registration Number Z5578313) Portsmouth City Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information in accordance with data protection law.

This privacy notice tells you about how Portsmouth City Council collects and uses personal information.

Your rights:
  • we’ll let you know how your information is being used
  • you can ask to see the personal information we hold about you
  • you can correct your personal information if it’s not accurate or complete
  • you can limit the way that we use your information
  • you can change your mind and tell us you’re not happy for us to continue using your information
  • you can ask us to send you your personal information, should you want to reuse it for anything else

We’ll support these rights unless there’s a good reason for us to keep hold of or continue to use your information. And we’ll let you know the reasons why.

When you apply to rent a home from us, we’ll ask for:
  • your full name and proof of identity
  • your date of birth
  • your email address and phone number
  • your national insurance number
  • your address
  • your salary and employment details
  • details of any criminal records
  • outgoing money details e.g., bills
  • details of previous debts and loans
  • the name of anyone authorised to act on your behalf
  • names and dates of birth for others within your home
  • your bank details
  • information about your previous tenancies, including anti-social behaviour issues and rent arrears
  • any language needs e.g., if English isn’t your first language
  • tax and benefit details
  • any disability or support needs
  • information on your savings.
We collect and process this information so that we can:
  • check if you’re eligible to rent a home from us and decide whether to offer you a tenancy
  • contact you to arrange viewings
  • contact you to discuss the information you’ve provided
  • communicate with you in an appropriate way and deliver you the best service
  • set up your account for all future communications and collect payments for rent and service charges
  • tailor our services to meet your needs.
When you’re our tenant, we collect the following information:
  • your email addresses and phone numbers
  • the names and dates of birth of any other people living in your home
  • payments made by you and details of any arrears
  • any contact or correspondence that you’ve had with us
  • any health issues and disabilities
  • details of any criminal records
  • we may take photographs or film events that we host which you’ll be invited to, but we’ll tell you about this
  • ethnicity
  • nationality
  • gender

We may also collect other personal information about:

  • you and your family
  • your mental and physical health
  • financial circumstances
  • housing and social care needs where relevant
  • any contact or correspondence that other people have had with us about you or your household, e.g. your doctor, social worker etc.
We collect and process this information, so we can:
  • make sure that the information we have for you is accurate and up to date
  • understand any vulnerabilities and needs you have, so we can adapt our services where necessary and help you to access relevant support
  • provide you with any advice and support you may need with claiming benefits, budgeting, improving your skills and being able to live independently in your home
  • provide repairs and maintenance services in line with our landlord health and safety responsibilities
  • consult with you on changes
  • ask you for feedback and carry out surveys to improve our services – this can be by email, phone, text and/or face to face for both our own purposes and reporting to the housing regulator
  • record details internally and CORE (Continuous Recording of Social Housing lettings and sales) for government research and statistical purposes
  • collect photos, videos, news stories and case studies which allow us to promote our work.
Sometimes we’ll need to share your information.

We will only do this if you have given your consent or where the law allows or requires us to. Here’s who we’ll share it with and why:

  • other local authority departments to support their services to you and to ensure that you receive relevant services. We may also share your details with other relevant agencies, where appropriate
  • contractors who carry out repairs and services on our behalf
  • our legal department and solicitors – to draft and complete details for all legal documents and processes
  • internal departments or external companies who carry out surveys for us, in the interest of our customers
  • specialist tenancy support services
  • CORE (Continuous Recording of Social Housing lettings and sales); we’ll record information about you and any purchase within the CORE system.
  • professional advisors e.g., lawyers or insurers
  • our regulators
  • our IT systems suppliers, for legitimate business use, to keep our systems safe to protect information
  • credit check agencies – if we are supporting you with money advice and you have consented to this
  • external mailing providers who send you correspondence on our behalf and / or external messaging providers to send correspondence on our behalf
  • we may share your details with social care and health services if we believe there are safeguarding concerns
  • we may share your details with the police if we believe that a crime is taking place or to prevent crime
  • We will only share appropriate information about you with your family or carers and usually only where you have given specific permission to do so. We may withhold information where it places any individual at risk.
  • We will only share with each person or organisation the details they need in order to provide their services or support to you or perform their statutory duty.
How do we keep personal information secure?

Portsmouth City Council has comprehensive policies and procedures around information security and data protection which help reduce the risk of anyone accessing or disclosing your information unlawfully. We ensure that your personal data is kept secure through the use of technical security measures for all our IT systems. We ensure that only employees who should have access to personal data can do so, and this is managed through comprehensive training, regular checks and validation. Anyone that processes personal data on our behalf, such as repairs contractors, support agencies and other departments within Portsmouth City Council, are governed by specific contracts to ensure that they do so securely and only for the purposes set out by Portsmouth City Council.

How long do we keep hold of personal information?

We regularly check that contact details are up to date and accurate when we’re in contact with our customers.

If you think we need to update any of the information we hold, please let us know.

Records will not be kept for longer than necessary.  We may continue to hold information about you after you leave your home or no longer receive services from us, where this is still relevant. We may also be required to keep your information for legal reasons. Full information regarding retention periods for the different types of data can be found on our Corporate retention schedule page.

Access to personal information

You have the right to know if Portsmouth City Council holds any personal information relating to you. You can do this by making a ‘Subject Access Request’ either by contacting us or by visiting our Freedom of information page. You will usually be entitled to see all of the data held about you but may not be entitled to see confidential information about other people.

Access to CCTV

Some of our properties, estates and offices have CCTV and you may be recorded when you visit them. We use these to provide security and protect you, our employees and visitors.

CCTV is only viewed by employees when necessary. The footage is stored for a specific period, after which it is recorded over. We may view or share CCTV to investigate a complaint or antisocial behaviour, including with the police to prevent and detect a crime. We may also share CCTV for evidence in an insurance claim or court case.

CCTV images that are stored and catalogued may be accessed by individuals by making a ‘Subject Access Request’. Portsmouth City Council may not record CCTV at all locations with CCTV signage and not all CCTV cameras will be operational at all hours of the week. Individuals may not be able to see visual images that contain other identifiable individuals or are considered confidential under law e.g. if they are required for the prevention or identification of a crime.

Complaints or queries

If you have a complaint or query about how we collect and use personal information, if you would like a change to be made to your record or want to object to processing of your information, please contact us.

If you would like to make a complaint or are not satisfied with the responses you have received from us after making a request, please contact:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (if you prefer to use a national rate number).

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice was last updated on 24 May 2023.

How to contact us

If you want to request details of our privacy policy and how we collect and use personal information, you can contact:

Corporate Information Governance Officer,
Corporate Services, Portsmouth City Council

Civic offices, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL

Email: foi@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Telephone: 023 9283 4385