Student Accommodation Data Breach – Could I Make A Data Breach Claim?

This guide looks at who could be eligible to start a student accommodation data breach claim. You will find information on the obligations placed on certain parties under data protection law and how a failure to meet these obligations could potentially result in a breach of your personal data.

student accommodation data breach

Student Accommodation Data Breach – Could I Make A Data Breach Claim?

We have provided an explanation of how data breach compensation is calculated. We have also included information on the types of damage this compensation could be awarded for in the event of a successful claim.

Later in this guide, we look at the type of No Win No Fee agreement our experienced data breach solicitors could take your claim under, including what advantages this brings to claimants.

To get answers to your questions, more information on how data breach claims work or a zero-cost no-obligation assessment of your particular circumstances, speak with our advisors today. You can contact our dedicated team via the following:

  • Phone on 0800 073 8801.
  • Complete our online “Contact Us” form here.
  • Use the live chat button at the bottom of this page.

Select A Section

  1. Student Accommodation Data Breach – Could I Make A Data Breach Claim?
  2. Examples Of Students Data Accommodation Providers Could Hold
  3. What Evidence Could Support A Student Accommodation Data Breach Claim?
  4. What Are Claims For A Student Accommodation Data Breach Worth?
  5. How To Start Your No Win No Fee Claim For A Student Accommodation Data Breach
  6. Further Guidance On Data Breach Claims

Student Accommodation Data Breach – Could I Make A Data Breach Claim?

Universities, as well as private accommodation providers, offer rented living spaces to thousands of students every academic year. Students’ personal data could be at risk if the accommodation providers fail to uphold data protection laws.

When discussing data breach claims, the following parties need to be considered:

  • The data subject: The living identifiable individual to whom the personal data is related 
  • The data controller: Often an organisation, such as a student accommodation provider, that decides when, how and why your personal data will be stored, handled and processed.
  • The data processor: Some data controllers may make use of an external organisation, known as a data processor, to process your data. Alternatively, the data controller may also choose to process the data internally.

As per the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), data processors and controllers both have obligations to protect your data. Failures to comply with obligations under these laws can lead to personal data breaches. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the public body set up to govern data protection in the UK, defines a personal data breach as an incident of security that affects the availability, confidentiality or integrity of personal data.  The ICO definition encompasses both human error and deliberate action data breaches.

You could be eligible to start a claim for a personal data breach if you can meet the following criteria:

  1. There was a failure on behalf of the data processor or controller to uphold the obligations placed on them by data protection legislation.
  2. As a result of these failures, a data breach occurred in which your personal data was impacted.
  3. Because of this breach of personal data, you experienced financial loss, emotional harm, or both together. 

Is There A Time Limit For Making A Claim After A Student Accommodation Data Breach?

You will generally have 6 years to begin a data breach claim, although this is reduced to 1 year if your claim is against a public body.

Talk to one of our friendly advisors for more information regarding the data breach claims time limit. They can also offer further guidance on the eligibility criteria for claiming following a student accommodation data breach. 

Examples Of Students Data Accommodation Providers Could Hold

Personal data is information that can, either directly or indirectly, be used to identify an individual. A student accommodation provider could hold data such as your name and contact information, as well as your debit or credit card details for billing purposes.

Special category data is data that is considered more sensitive and therefore demands a higher level of security. Examples include data concerning race and ethnicity, and information regarding religious information. 

Below we have provided some examples of how a student accommodation data breach could occur and the impact this could have on you:

  • A letter containing your personal data was sent to your old address after the accommodation provider failed to update your information. As a result, your data is accessed by an unauthorised party in a wrong postal address data breach.
  • Sensitive data was exposed in a cyber attack on an accommodation provider’s database due to their being poor cyber security protocols in place. As a result, you experience anxiety and distress.
  • Inadequate physical security procedures meant that copies of documents containing your bank card details were lost. The documents were later acquired by unauthorised persons, and money was removed from your account.

Our advisors can offer further guidance on how a data breach at a student accommodation provider can occur. They can also provide a free assessment of your eligibility to begin a data breach claim. You can speak to a team member using the contact details given above.

What Evidence Could Support A Student Accommodation Data Breach Claim?

In order to make a successful student accommodation data breach claim, you will need to provide supporting evidence. Some possible examples are given here:

  • The letter or email from your accommodation provider notifying you that a data breach has taken place and that your personal data was affected. 
  • Bank statements or other financial information from your bank showing unauthorised purchases made using your cards as a result of the personal data breach.
  • Medical documents showing any psychological distress you experienced due to the breach. 

Data controllers have an obligation to inform all affected data subjects that a breach has occurred if their rights and freedom have been put at risk by the data breach. Provided the breach meets the standards for reporting, the data controller is required to report the breach to the ICO within 72 hours of becoming aware that the breach occurred. If the ICO choose to investigate, any findings from this investigation can be used as evidence in your claim.

You also have the right to voice your concerns regarding the accommodation provider’s handling of your personal data either in writing or over the phone. Following an unsatisfactory response from the accommodation provider, you could make a complaint with the ICO directly. However, making a complaint is not required to start a data breach claim.

One of our solicitors could assist you with the collection of evidence if you have a valid claim. Get a cost-free assessment of your eligibility today by calling us on the number provided below. If you are eligible, an advisor could connect you with one of our experienced solicitors who could begin working on your case. 

What Are Claims For A Student Accommodation Data Breach Worth?

The success of your student accommodation data breach claim will see you awarded compensation. This compensation can be for two different types of damage. These are:

  • Material damage: Referring to the financial losses stemming from the data breach. This can include money stolen from your account or loss of earnings you have incurred after taking time off work to recover from the psychological impact of the breach.
  • Non-material damage: Referring to any psychiatric damage caused by the data breach, such as stress or in more severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In order to calculate a potential value of non-material damage for your claim, solicitors can refer to your medical evidence in conjunction with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication contains guideline award brackets for an array of different mental injuries. A selection of these brackets have been used in the table below.

Compensation Table 

Please note that due to the individual nature of data breach claims, this table has been provided to act as a guide, not guarantee a compensation amount

Type of Harm Severity Guideline Bracket Notes
General Psychiatric injury Severe (a) £54,830 to £115,730 A very poor prognosis with marked problems relating to different aspects of the person’s life, including their social life, work and personal relationships.
Moderately Severe (b) £19,070 to £54,830 The prognosis will be better than the bracket above but significant problems relating to several parts of the person’s life, such as work and social life, will still be present.
Moderate (c) £5,860 to £19,070 Problems associated with several areas of life, including work, social life and personal relationships, will have been present but the person will have experienced a significant improvement and their prognosis will be good.
Less Severe (d) £1,540 to £5,860 Awards in this bracket will consider the length of the disability period, as well the effect on sleep patterns and day-to-day activity.
PTSD Severe (a) £59,860 to £100,670 Severe permanent effects badly impacting all aspects of the injured person’s life.
Moderately Severe (b) £23,150 to £59,860 The person will likely be suffering significant disability for the foreseeable future, although there will be some recovery with professional help leading to a better prognosis.
Moderate (c) £8,180 to £23,150 Cases where the injured person has largely recovered and any ongoing effects they experience won’t be grossly disabling.
Less Severe (d) £3,950 to £8,180 A virtual recovery within one to two years and persisting symptoms over a longer period will only be minor.

For a more specific estimate on what compensation you could potentially claim, contact our team using the details given below. 

How To Start Your No Win No Fee Claim For A Student Accommodation Data Breach

To start your student accommodation data breach claim, speak to our advisors today. After a no-cost assessment of your circumstances, you could be connected with one of our expert data breach solicitors. The solicitor could then offer to take on your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA is a type of No Win No Fee contract that offers claimants significant advantages. When you begin your data breach claim with us under a CFA, you can benefit from no upfront fees for the solicitor to begin work on your claim in most cases. Similarly, you will not be liable for any ongoing fees for this work as the claims process moves forward.

Upon the success of your data breach claim, you will receive a compensation payout for the damages sustained from the breach. A percentage of this compensation will be deducted by the solicitor. This is called a success fee. The percentage solicitors can take as their success fee is subject to a legally binding cap. What this means for you is that most of your compensation is yours to keep if you win your claim. 

You can talk to our advisors using the contact information below. Our team can answer any of your questions and offer you a cost-free assessment of your potential claim. You can speak to our team via:

  • Phone on 0800 073 8801.
  • Complete our online “Contact Us” form here.
  • Use the live chat button at the bottom of this page.

Further Guidance On Data Breach Claims

See some of our other guides on data breach claims here:

External resources:

Thank you for reading our guide on making a student accommodation data breach claim. Our team are available to answer your questions, as well as assess your eligibility to claim. Speak to our advisors today via the contact details given above.