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The Data Protection Act 1998

Updated: 20 Jun 2018
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Personal data about you must be held securely
The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on 1st March 2000 and allows you, as our customer, certain rights to access information we may hold about you. The Act establishes rules for processing personal information and now applies to most paper records, as well as those held on computer.
We comply fully with the Act, and ensure that handling of all personal information is carried out in accordance with data protection principles.

Guidance leaflet

The Housing Executive has produced a new guidance leaflet relating to the Data Protection Act 1998. The leaflet provides advice to individuals who wish to access their personal information, and includes details of the £10 subject access fee. A copy of the leaflet can be viewed / downloaded from the following link:

What are the relevant data protection principles?

Personal data held about you must be:
  • fairly and lawfully processed
  • processed for limited purposes
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate and up to date
  • not kept for longer than is necessary
  • processed in line with your rights
  • secure
  • not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area unless that country has adequate protection for the individual.

Purposes of processing

We process personal information in our role:
  • as a landlord
  • as a Grants Authority
  • under the Statutory House Sales Scheme
  • as a Homelessness Authority
  • as a Housing Benefit Authority
  • as a HMO Regulator
  • as an employer.
In addition, we also process personal information for the following general purposes:
  • Staff administration
  • Advertising, marketing, public relations, accounts and records
  • Grant and loan administration
  • Consultancy and advisory services
  • Crime prevention and prosecution of offenders
  • Legal services
  • Property management
  • Research.

Categories of recipients

We will disclose personal information for the above purposes to the following people:
Staff, agents and contractors, other social landlords, other public authorities, public representatives and legal advisers, and to others permitted to receive personal information under the Act.

What rights do I have in relation to the Act?

  • The right of access to find out what information is held about you on computer and on most paper records
  • The right of rectification, blocking, erasure and destruction of information by application to the Court
  • The right to prevent the processing in some cases where the processing of the data is likely to cause substantial unwarranted damage and/or distress to you or anyone else
  • The right to prevent processing for direct marketing purposes
  • The right to compensation for damage or damage and/or distress caused by any breach of the Act
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making.


This offers basic guidance on your rights under the Data Protection Act and is not intended to provide an authoritative interpretation of the law relating to Data Protection. For further information on the Data Protection Act you should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Please forward your request to:

The Access to Information Manager

The Housing Centre,
NIHE, 2 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 8PB
Telephone 02890240588

Useful contacts

Office of the Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Information Commissioners Information Line 01625 545745