What Are My Rights After An Estate Agent Data Breach?

Estate agent data breach claims guide

Estate agent data breach claims guide

If an estate agent data breach has caused you financial harm or psychological injury, you may be able to make a compensation claim. This article will look at the eligibility criteria that must be met to make a claim.

Estate agents will require personal data relating to both clients and employees. Personal data is processed information that could be used to identify a natural living person, such as their name, address and telephone number. Those who have personal data breached could go on to suffer from mental health injuries such as anxiety and depression. Additionally, personal data can also include bank account information. Should such information be comprised, this could affect your finances.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to see if you could have a valid claim for an estate agent data breach. One of our advisors will be available to speak to you about your case and offer free and confidential legal advice.

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What Is An Estate Agent Data Breach?

Estate agents will use the personal data of clients and employees, which may include your name, email address, and phone number. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) describes a personal data breach in broad terms as a security incident that affects the availability, integrity or confidentiality of personal data.

In order to make a claim for a personal data breach, you must have sustained harm as a result of the breach, and there must have been failings on the part of the data controller or processor to adhere to data protection laws. A data controller has overall control of the use and means of processing personal data; in this case, it would be the estate agents. And a data processor acts on the instructions of the relevant controller.

Continue reading to learn about the legislation in place to protect your personal data. Additionally, speak to a member of our team to ask any questions.

Does The UK GDPR Apply To Estate Agents?

All organisations that handle personal data must adhere to the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). The UK GDPR sits alongside the DPA to govern data protection in the UK and provide regulations for the use and storage of both digital and physical data. Furthermore, the UK GDPR provides an avenue for victims harmed by a personal data breach to seek compensation.

Therefore estate agents must comply with the measures mentioned in Article 24 of the UK GDPR to protect the personal data they handle. This includes providing proper data protection training for staff that will have the responsibility of handling personal data. Also, they must have in place both digital and physical security measures that are up to the correct standard. Failure to protect data in line with the UK GDPR could result in an estate agent data breach.

Under the following circumstances, you may be eligible to receive compensation:

  • Firstly, there is a failure to comply with data protection legislation on the part of the data controller or processor, which causes a data breach.
  • Secondly, this breach involves your personal data.
  • And finally, you experienced either psychological injury or financial harm because of the breach.

Common Causes Of Data Protection Breaches

The ICO compile statistics on the number of reports of data security incidents they receive to provide data security incident trends. In the land or property services sector, there were 1,448 incidents reported between Q2 of 2019 and Q2 of 2022. The most common specified cause of these incidents, at 281, were emails sent to the incorrect recipient.

Examples Of What Could Cause An Estate Agent Data Breach

An estate agent data breach could occur due to unlawful or accidental causes. This means a breach could occur due to human error or criminal activity. Various causes that could result in an estate agent data breach include:

  • An estate agent emails personal information about a client to the wrong recipient.
  • A criminal cyber hacks into a database and steals personal information.
  • An estate agent sends a letter containing a client’s personal data to the wrong address.
  • A physical copy of personal information is not properly stored in a secure location and is lost or stolen.
  • A failure to use BCC in a mass email.

Please contact our team of advisors for more information on how a data breach could occur.

What Do I Need To Show To Claim?

To claim compensation for an estate agent data breach, you must prove that there was a failure on the part of the data controller or processor to protect your data in line with the UK GDPR. If an organisation discovers a data breach that puts your rights and freedoms at risk, they should contact you without undue delay and alert the ICO within 72 hours, who could investigate the breach. The ICO’s finding could prove crucial evidence in a claim.

You can also contact the organisation if you suspect that your personal data has been breached. Following an unsatisfactory response, you can also make a complaint to the ICO yourself. However, it is important to know that the ICO cannot award compensation, and you do not need to complain to them to make a claim.

In addition, you will need to prove that the personal data breach caused you harm. Firstly, you could present medical records to show any psychological injuries you experienced after the data breach. Secondly, you could use bank records to prove that you have suffered financial losses due to the data breach.

How Long Do I Have To File An Estate Agent Data Breach Claim?

You have 6 years to initiate a claim for data breach compensation. However, if your data breach claim is against a public body, it is just one year to begin proceedings. We recommend contacting Accident Claims UK as soon as possible to find out whether your claim is within the relevant time limit.

What Could I Claim Following An Estate Agent Data Breach?

For a successful estate agent data breach case, there are two potential heads of claim:

  • Material damage – compensating for the financial losses caused by the personal data breach.
  • Non-material damage – compensating for the mental injuries caused by the personal data breach.

We have used the 16th edition Judicial College guidelines (JCG), updated in April 2022, to create the compensation table below. Solicitors use the JCG to help them value compensation claims. Therefore, you can use this table as a guide to compensation awarded under non-material damage. Compensation for material damage is not included in the table.

Injury and Severity Notes on the Injury Compensation Brackets
Severe Mental Injury Several factors will be considered for a severe mental injury. These include the person’s ability to cope with life, what impact it has had on their relationships, how successful any treatment could be and if they have sought any medical care. The prognosis will be very poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Moderately Severe Mental Injury Whilst affected by the same factors as those in the category above, there is a much more optimistic prognosis. £19,070 to £54,830
Moderate Mental Injury Whilst this person may have had some problems concerning the same set of factors, they will have made a marked improvement by the time of trial and the prognosis is good. £5,860 to £19,070
Less Severe Mental Injury The amount awarded in this bracket will take account of the extent daily activities were affected and how long these lasted for. £1,540 to £5,860
Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The injury will permanently prevent the person from working or at least functioning at the level they did before the trauma. £59,860 to £100,670
Moderately Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The injury will have a better prognosis with professional help than those in the severe bracket above. £23,150 to £59,860
Moderate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The person will have largely recovered. Any effects still present won’t be grossly disabling. £8,180 to £23,150
Less Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The person should make a virtual full recovery in 1 – 2 years. £3,950 to £8,180

The amount awarded for each claim is determined by the unique details of the case, therefore, the amount can vary. Please get in touch with Accident Claims UK today to discuss how compensation for a data breach is calculated.

Get In Touch With Our Expert Team

Our advisors at Accident Claims UK could provide answers to questions you may have about making a personal data breach claim. If they find your claim could be valid, they may connect you with one of our data breach solicitors.

Opting to enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a type of No Win No Fee agreement, could also prove advantageous. This means you will not pay any upfront or ongoing fees for your solicitor’s services. Furthermore, you won’t pay for these services if your claim is unsuccessful.

Alternatively, if your claim is a success, your No Win No Fee solicitor can take a small success fee from the compensation. This is a legally capped percentage.

Please contact our team today to begin your claim for a personal data breach by an estate agent.

  • Call our advice line on 0800 073 8801.
  • Use the live chat feature to ask us a question.
  • Contact us via our website.

Find Out More About Your Rights

Take a look at other guides from our site for more information:

What Are My Rights After A Mortgage Provider Data Breach?

What Are My Rights After An NHS Data Breach?

A Guide To Your Rights After A Post Office Data Breach

Also, explore these external links:

The lawful basis for processing data – An ICO guide explains when an organisation can process personal data.

Anxiety, fear and panic – An NHS guide.

Data protection rights for data subjects – A Gov.UK guide to your data protection rights.

We appreciate you taking the time to read this guide to making an estate agent data breach claim.