The Residential Landlord Association recently published a blog on this with some excellent landlord's questions and answers. I have picked out the relevant ones below:
Q. What if we have an agent managing the property and they handle all of the bits around tenant ID etc.
A. It will depend whether you personally hold any data. If you have any data that would identify the tenant(s) even if that is just a name, mobile number or email address and if you hold it electronically, or if it was originally shared electronically (ie: via email or mobile phone) then you need to register.
Q. What I’m unclear about is who and how is this act “policed”? I’ve registered and paid because it’s “the law” but how does this benefit me and my tenants?
A. According to our legal advisers data subjects (ie tenants) can complain to the ICO about alleged misuse of their data – and the ICO will investigate their complaints. Additionally if landlords do not comply then if they have any claim against the tenant(s) – for unpaid rent etc – there is a risk that this could be offset by a claim from the tenant(s) that they were suffering as a result of the landlord’s non-compliance.
Q. I just got an email from my landlord with the GDPR stuff. The problem is he says the ICO fee was £100 (it’s a private landlord with only that property in the market) and wants me to pay for it. As far as I understand, this is a legal requirement for him as a landlord, not a service for me, so I understand I’m not responsible for the payment…is that right?
A. This is very poor behaviour and you do not have any obligation to pay this fee, as you say.