What Are My Rights After A Housing Association Data Breach?

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 31st January 2024. Accident Claims UK can help if a housing association data breach has affected you. A housing association is a not-for-profit organisation that provides lower-cost housing, also known as social housing. Unlike the private rental market, social housing tenants tend to live in their home on a long term or permanent basis. Some social housing tenants are vulnerable individuals who may be elderly or have a disability.

It is normal practice for housing associations to collect personal data belonging to tenants, employees and others. However, under the General Data Protection Act (GDPR), organisations must protect the personal data they collect. Therefore, you may be owed compensation if you have been affected by a housing association data protection breach.

In this guide, we will explain how a social housing data breach can happen. And we will show you how to make a valid data breach claim.

Get in touch with Accident Claims UK now to start your claim. Call us on 0800 073 8801 or make an online enquiry to get started. Or continue reading this social housing data breach guide to learn more.

What are my rights after a Housing Association data breach guide

What are my rights after a Housing Association data breach guide

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A Guide On Housing Association Data Breach Claims

To operate, housing associations need to collect personal data from tenants, employees and other parties. When they do so, housing associations must follow data protection legislation. This includes the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is a piece of EU data regulation, which the Data Protection Act 2018 enacts into UK laws.

Under the GDPR, housing associations have the following responsibilities:

  1. Firstly, housing associations are responsible for protecting data they collect.
  2. Secondly, to protect the data, housing associations should have proper data management and cybersecurity systems.
  3. And finally, following a data breach, the housing association may be held liable for any harm caused.

We will look at the key parts of the GDPR in more detail later in this guide.

What Happens If A Tenant’s Data Is Compromised Or Staff Data Is Compromised At A Housing Association?

The victims of the data breach would have the right to claim compensation so long as the breach causes them to suffer. We will explain how data breaches can happen and how to make a data breach claim for compensation later in this guide. What’s more, we will review the Flagship Housing Association data breach.

We could help you if you wish to make a data breach claim for compensation. Contact us today for your free consultation. Our personal injury solicitors could start working on your case on a No Win No Fee basis if we can see you have a formidable claim.

What are the benefits of working with Accident Claims UK?

  • Our solicitors can assess your claim’s worth and negotiate hard to make sure you get the right amount of money.
  • Our solicitors have decades of experience handling compensation claims.
  • If a solicitor takes your case on, they’ll offer you their services under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Data Breach Claims Time Limits

There is a time limit of six years for a data breach compensation claim in the UK. However, the limit is just one year if the data breach was due to a public body such as an NHS data breach or Social services data breach.

Personal Data That Housing Associations Could Hold About You

Firstly, what does personal data mean? Personal data is data that can identify an individual, or be used with other information to identify a person. Below are some examples of personal data that housing associations may collect from their tenants.

  • Tenant (customer) name
  • Home address
  • Email Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Disability status
  • Nationality and national origin
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender or gender identity
  • Religious beliefs

Some of the data that housing associations collect relates to people’s personal characteristics. This can include ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. This is considered sensitive personal data. The data subject may suffer prejudice, abuse or hate crimes if this data becomes breached.

Housing associations will also collect job-specific data on their employees, such as job title, start date, bank details and information about personal performance. This means they could also face claims for an employer data breach if they expose data and harm employees by doing so.

What Should A Housing Association Do After A Data Breach?

A data breach by a housing association means that tenant or staff data is compromised. This could violate the privacy and personal security of those involved. Therefore, if a data breach takes place, the housing association should act responsibly. They must inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the data breach within 72 hours if it puts data subjects at risk. What’s more, in such a scenario, they should send notifications to the individuals who have been affected by the data breach.

Does the ICO enforce the UK GDPR?

The Information Commissioner’s Office enforces the UK GDPR and other data protection legislation in the UK. They can investigate if a housing association commits a data breach. As a result, they may issue the organisation with an ICO fine.

To prevent personal data breaches, housing associations should follow legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Housing associations should do the following when they collect, process and store data from individuals (data subjects):

  • Firstly, housing associations should inform you about the collection of your personal data.
  • Secondly, the housing association must explain their reason for collecting the data. What’s more, the housing association should not use the data for another purpose.
  • In addition, the housing association should keep personal data up to date.

You have the right to make a data breach claim if a housing association compromised your personal data and caused you to suffer. To see if you can begin your data breach claim, call Accident Claims UK to speak with an advisor.

When Do You Have The Right To Claim For A GDPR Breach?

In the UK, the GDPR protects the data privacy of individuals. Therefore if an organisation breaches an individual’s personal data, the victim could have the right to make a compensation claim. You could make a data breach claim for any emotional distress or financial losses experienced due to a housing association data protection breach.

To find out if you could claim, please call Accident Claims UK for free today. An advisor will be able to assess your case in depth. If it’s formidable, they could assign a data breach claims solicitor to start working on your case to see that you are owed compensation.

Rights Of Data Subjects

Under the GDPR, individuals have the right to:

  • Be informed
  • Access their data
  • Rectification
  • Erasure
  • Restrict processing
  • Data portability
  • Object

You also have rights about automated decision making and profiling.

You can read more about your individual rights under the GDPR in this ICO guide.

Evidence Relevant To Data Breach Compensation Claims

What evidence could you provide to support your case? You could use:

  • Confirmation of the breach from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
  • Your social housing data breach notification.
  • Your medical records. They can provide evidence of psychological injury.
  • Evidence of financial losses. They can be provided through financial documents such as bank statements.

There may be other forms of evidence that you have. It’s important to provide proof so that you can be accurately compensated for every loss.

To discuss your evidence options, get in touch for free legal advice.

Housing Association Data Breach Compensation Calculator

If you make a successful personal data breach claim following a housing association data breach, you could receive compensation for the material and non-material damage you have suffered.

Non-material damage refers to the psychological harm caused by the personal breach, such as depression or anxiety. When calculating compensation for this, the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) could be helpful. It provides guideline compensation brackets for a range of injuries, including psychological ones,  at various levels of severity.

Below, in the table, you can see some figures from the 2022 edition of the JCG, apart from the first entry. However, we should point out that this is only guidance, and the compensation you could receive would depend on the factors and circumstances of your case.

Type & Severity Of Psychological InjuryDescription of injury and commentsCompensation Estimate
Multiple severe injuries to psychiatric health plus financial expenses and losses. A combination of severe psychological injuries with associated costs and losses such as theft or loss of income due to psychological injuries. Up to £250,000+
Severe Psychiatric Damage (General) (a)Victims may experience a very severe form of psychiatric injury.£54,830 to £115,730
Moderately severe Psychiatric Damage (b)Victims may experience problems with factors such as working, training, education or relationships. £19,070 to £54,830
Moderate Psychiatric Damage (c)The affected claimant will have been affected in their ability to carry on with education, training or work. Their personal life may also be affected. £5,860 to £19,070
Less Severe Psychiatric Damage (d)The settlement will take account any disability that the person is left with.£1,540 to £5,860
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (a)The injury will have led to a lasting and permanent form of psychological injury.£59,860 to £100,670
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (b)This person will have been affected in similar ways, but will have a better prognosis than in the category below. £23,150 to £59,860
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (c)A full recovery should have been made by the time of the claim. There could be some residual effects but these should not be grossly disabling.£8,180 to £23,150
Less Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (d)A full recovery should be made within a period of 1 to 2 years.£3,950 to £8,180

Material damage, on the other hand, refers to the financial costs and losses caused by the breach. Such costs and losses could include:

  • Loss of income as a result of time taken off work recovering from a psychological injury caused by the breach.
  • The costs associated with identity theft caused by the breach.
  • Money taken from your bank account due to the breach.

You will have to provide evidence of these losses in order to claim for them. Bank statements and payslips could be useful in this regard.

To learn more about compensation payouts for data breach claims, please contact an advisor.

No Win No Fee Personal Data Breach Claims Against A Housing Association

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to fund a solicitor if they feel they need a solicitor’s services. Therefore, our solicitors offer a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that you won’t have to pay for your claim upfront.

Instead, you would pay a success fee only on the condition that you win your claim. This would be formalised by signing a Conditional Fee Agreement.

You could enjoy the following benefits if you make a No Win No Fee claim:

  • No ongoing solicitor fees.
  • You don’t have to pay any solicitor fees if the claim doesn’t win.
  • Access to legal advice.
  • You only have to pay the success fee once the compensation comes through.
  • The success fee is legally capped to a small percentage.

To find out more about making a No Win No Fee agreement, call Accident Claims UK to discuss your predicament with an advisor.

Speak To Our Claims Team

Have you been affected by a housing association data breach? You may be owed compensation. To begin your claim, contact Accident Claims UK using the details below:

Related Guides

These guides may be helpful if you wish to make a data breach claim.

External Guides Relating To A Housing Association Data Breach

Thank you for reading our guide to housing association data breach claims.