Document Retention Policy
Winkworth Franchising Limited ("WFL") is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. WFL is currently registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 Number: Z6407041, for further information please visit the Information Commissioners Website at www.ico.org.uk.
All of the Winkworth offices are independently owned and operated by franchisees under licence from WFL as the franchisor ("Franchisee(s)"). For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (the “Act”), in certain instances the data controller is dependent on the given activity and use of the information obtained and will either be the given Franchisee, WFL (of 4th Floor, 1 Lumley Street, London, W1K 6TT) or a subsidiary of WFL. In the large majority of circumstances, the data controller is likely to be WFL as a consequence of the centralised data management arrangement operated throughout the Winkworth network by WFL and the franchisees. Within this policy, references to "Winkworth" shall be deemed to mean the Franchisees (whether separately or altogether), WFL and its subsidiaries, as well as any holding company of WFL and its subsidiaries as appropriate. If you have any questions regarding this Policy you should contact Winkworth in the first instance via [email protected] or to the following address:
The Data Protection Office
Winkworth Franchising Limited
4th Floor, 1 Lumley Street
- Information and data is one of Winkworth’s key corporate assets. In the course of carrying out its’ various functions, Winkworth accumulates information from both individuals and external organisations. Winkworth also generates a wide range of data, which is recorded in documents and records. Winkworth strives to maintain data in accordance with the Act.
- These documents and records are in several different formats, examples of which include, (but are not limited to) communications such as letters, emails and attendance notes; financial information including invoices, statements and reports; legal documents such as contracts, leases and deeds; and information relating to landlords, vendors, applicants, purchasers, tenants and other individuals taking an interest in property.
- For the purposes of this Policy, the terms ‘document’, ‘data’ and ‘records’ include information in both hard copy and electronic form.
- In certain circumstances, it will be necessary to retain specific documents in order to fulfil statutory or regulatory requirements and also to meet justifiable operational needs. Document retention may also be useful to evidence events or agreements in the case of disputes, and also to preserve information which has historic value. Winkworth has developed this Policy with the intention of benefitting Winkworth and the data subjects to strike a careful balance between legal obligations, operational efficiency and retention of data for periods which are reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.
- Winkworth will retain some data and forms of information for longer than others. In line with principle 5 of the Act, information is not sought to be kept longer than is necessary.
- The retention of all documents and records is impractical and appropriate disposal forms an important aspect of this Policy. Disposal will assist Winkworth to maintain sufficient electronic and office storage space and will de-clutter office accommodation. Winkworth operates a “paper light” approach to hard copy documents with the majority of records being retained electronically rather than as hard copies where possible.
A table containing the intended retention period is given for each relevant data category. The retention period applies to all records in that category default, and will be adhered to wherever possible, although it is recognised by Winkworth that there may be exceptional circumstances which require documents to be kept for either shorter or longer periods. In addition, it should be noted that, in line with the Act and Winkworth’s obligation to implement appropriate physical and technical security measures, the data and information held by Winkworth electronically is regularly and periodically backed up. These back up copies are maintained indefinitely and in accordance with Winkworth’s Security Policy to ensure the consistency and stable framework upon which Winkworth operates its business. On this basis these back up copies are unaffected by the retention periods for each relevant data category which form part of this Policy. The data set which forms part of each backup copy will be unaffected by the retention periods and action taken in line with the retention periods as referred to below.
Retention periods also apply to all formats of records, i.e. paper and electronic, unless specifically stated otherwise.
The primary factors that inform decisions on retention are:
- Business need.
- Services provided to our customers.
- Provision of professional estate agency and associated activities.
- Our experience of when retention of information and data is likely to be beneficial to the data subject as relevant to the specific services they seek from Winkworth, including estate agency services.
- Legislative and regulatory requirements - for example compliance with the fifth data protection principle. Where relevant legislation is listed.
- Informed and express consent of the data subject.
In our experience, data subjects are often keen to consent to Winkworth maintaining data and information beyond the periods referred to as part of this Policy. The reason and justification for these extended periods of retention, by way of example, can include:
- Provision of extended record keeping services.
- Removing an administrative burden from data subjects.
- Enabling an ease of operation between Winkworth and the data subject.
- Maintaining an ongoing business relationship, which may be limited to matters such as a data subject’s ongoing interest in the property market, beyond the periods maintained as part of the Policy.
It is therefore not unusual for data subjects to provide free and unambiguous consent to Winkworth to retain data beyond the periods forming part of this Policy.
Data Retention Schedule - (Summary)
1. Current year plus two-year rule
A vital part of Winkworth’s Data Protection Policy and practice is for personal data to be retained for the appropriate period of time – neither too long nor too short. It is Winkworth’s policy to retain all information only for as long as specified in the Data Retention Schedule and, in general, no longer the current year plus two years.
As stated above, personal data is not usually held for more than the ‘current year plus two years’. This rule is a target period for retention. If there is no need to keep the personal data that long, then it may be disposed of securely before the two years’ time-limit. Winkworth will aim to assess and update data held in accordance with this Policy on a yearly basis which means on an annual basis a certain amount of data is archived or destroyed or anonymised.
Below is the retention table for Estate Agency, being Winkworth’s most common data category.