How much can we tell landlords with consent?

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    We have a large letting agent in our LA area.

    Since the introduction of LHA (and we are no longer paying them), they are very keen on contacting us to find out as much as possible about their tenant’s claims.

    We are receiving (what I consider to be) excessive amounts of phone calls from them, and staff are uncomfortable with some of the questions they are being asked, which go beyond what we would normally tell other landlords (including RSLs).

    As mentioned earlier, as it is LHA, we are not paying these agents. However, they are getting their tenants to sign authorisation. I have concerns about how much choice the tenants are given in signing this letter. It includes one sentence that says “[i:b70a1c0b99]This authorisation is [u:b70a1c0b99][b:b70a1c0b99]irrevocable[/b:b70a1c0b99][/u:b70a1c0b99] and any attempt to do it[/i:b70a1c0b99] [sic] [i:b70a1c0b99]otherwise, will bring the tenancy to an end immediately without notice being served upon me[/i:b70a1c0b99]”.

    Even with my limited knowledge of tenancy law, I know this is rubbish and they can’t end the tenancy without notice for this reason.

    I have been looking at the Information Commissioner’s website, and it says a person, if asked to consent [to sharing information], should be given [b:b70a1c0b99]genuine and free choice[/b:b70a1c0b99].

    We obviously have to consider Data Protection and confidentiality here.

    I also have concerns that, being a public authority, we must consider article 8 of the ECHR, and respect the claimant’s right to a private and family life.

    I want to contact this letting agent and try and negoiate some ‘ground rules’ about the levels of information we can give them, and also try and reduce the number of phone calls from them.

    I suppose I have two main queries:

    1. Has anyone else out there had similar situations to this, and how did you deal with it?

    2. If we are not paying a landlord or agent, but we do have consent from the tenant, how much information can we give out?

    I would also welcome any other advice on this matter.

    Many thanks,


    We’ve had some landlords doing this as well and we’ve got a form that we give to the tenants if they don’t mind us sharing some info with the landlord.

    The only info we’ll them them is if a claim has been made, how much benefit is payable and next payment dates. If they want anything else we tell them, “sorry can’t tell you that”. Some don’t like it and will try and speak to different people to try and get more information, others just accept it.


    Thanks for your comments Craig.

    I think we need consistency in what we tell landlords, and it should be made clear to staff what they can and can’t tell them.

    I am now thinking my LA needs a policy or clear guidance as to what we can tell landlords.

    Does anyone have a policy or guidance on this subject they are willing to share with me?


    I don’t have any guidance or procedures but I can send you a copy of the form we use if thats any help.


    That’ll be a good start!

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