What does a housing association know about you?

You can find out what information your housing association has on you to help you understand why certain decisions have been made about you.

How do I find out what information a housing association has about me?

The easiest way to find out what they know about you is by sending a ‘subject access request’ through Rightly. A subject access request allows you to see any personal information an organisation has stored about you.

You can:

  • see what information they have stored about you
  • understand why certain decisions were made about you
  • make sure that your data is being handled properly

When you know what companies have recorded about you and what they’re using, you can take action, like telling them to delete it if you want them to.

You can pick from our list of housing associations and send an access request, or if you can't find the one you want, you can search on our main subject access request page. And of course our customer support team is ready to help!

Why should I send my housing association a subject access request?

You should send your housing association a subject access request to:

  • find out if any noise, antisocial or other complaints have been made about you
  • find out all available details of extra charges, so that you can prove that they were unfair
  • find out how they're using your data, to stop them sharing or selling it to third parties

You're entitled to all of the personal data that any organisation has stored about you. Then, you can then use this information to point out mistakes made in any decision about you.

Personal data that housing associations typically store includes:

  • Contact details
  • Marital status
  • Number of children
  • Data that affects your credit rating
  • Complaints made about you
  • Likely financial bracket

Remember, it’s easy to think of personal data as abstract, but sharing it can have real life consequences. Insurance decisions, for example, are often determined using bought personal data.

Ultimately, your personal data should be up to you. If you are being complained about, charged excessively without being told why, or simply want to stop your personal information being shared with others, send your housing association a request to find out. You have a legal right to do this.

Some common questions

How do I send a subject access request (SAR)?

The easiest way to find out where your information is by sending a request through Rightly:

  • Search for any company
  • Enter your basic details so that they can confirm your identity
  • Check your email and send your request

What can you expect after you send your request?

Your request simply connects you to all of the companies you select. They’ll link you to their own forms and processes for you to complete. Only your name and email address is required to send these requests, but companies will likely ask you for more information to make sure you're you.

They should confirm what personal information of yours they have within 30 days.

So I don't need a subject access request template?

No - they tend to be of varying quality and take a lot of effort. That's why we made Rightly, so that things can be as safe and time-effective as possible for you to have more control over your data.

How long until a company responds to my request?

After the company has received your request, they have to reply in full within 30 days, or give a valid reason for asking for an extension. However, we're glad to say that most companies normally reply within a week.

Responses from companies are likely to come directly into your inbox.

If you have any questions, or have any difficulty at all with how companies respond, our friendly support team is here to help!

What if they don't reply?

They have to reply by law. You can ask any company if they have your personal data, even if you don't know for sure whether or not they have it. They have to tell you what they have, as well as how and why they are using it. This is thanks to your ‘right of access’ under GDPR law.

How long can a company store my data for?

There is no specific time limit on how long a company can hold your personal data. Under GDPR, your information should simply not be kept for any longer than necessary.

While a company should be able to justify the length of time that your data is stored, whether or not this is acceptable depends on what the data was collected for in the first place.

For instance, a company can keep hold of employment contract data for a total of 6 years since this is the window of time in which a contract breach claim could be made.

However, when it comes to job applicant CVs for example, these can only be stored for a maximum of 6 months, based on this being the length of time in which a candidate could file a discrimination claim.