Under GDPR, you must be able to justify why you are holding information about someone and the data should not be kept longer than necessary. For example, for contacts involved in a sale, six years may be reasonable as it is the limitation period for someone to bring a legal claim; for lettings, seven years or more for financial records, due to possible tax enquiries.
We have introduced data retention settings which will allow you to define how long you would like contacts to remain on the system for (for example, 7 years for contacts related to a letting versus 6 months for someone who simply registered with you looking for a property).
In conjunction with these settings there are new, manager-only, bulk delete actions to remove contacts that you no longer need to keep based upon these settings.
When you delete someone their personal information is removed from the system and cannot be undone.
Configuring Your Personal Data Retention Policies
You can configure these settings under Admin > Settings > GDPR Retention Policy. They are all defined in months.
This page allows you to define a retention policy to control when landlords, tenants, vendors or buyers can be deleted from the system based on their activity across each of the following items:
- Viewings (default 12 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete any applicant who has attended a viewing or any landlord or vendor who has had a viewing at one of their properties within this period
- Valuations (default 24 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete any landlord or vendor who has had a valuation within this period
- Offers (default 24 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete any applicant who has made an offer or any landlord or vendor who has had an offer at one of their properties within this period
- Sales (default 72 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete a vendor or buyer who has been involved in a sale within this period
- Lettings (default 84 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete a landlord or tenant who has been involved in a letting within this period, or a landlord who has had any expenses, maintenance items, fees or statements during the same period.
as well as a default for:
- Landlords (default 6 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete a landlord who has registered with you within this period
- Tenants (default 6 months) - you will not be able to bulk delete a tenant who has registered with you within this period. You will also not be able to bulk delete a tenant who has an active property search (status of looking and a search 'Valid Until' date in the future)
- Vendors (default 6 months) - You will not be able to bulk delete a vendor who has registered with you within this period
- Buyers (default 6 months) - You will not be able to bulk delete a buyer who has registered with you within this period. You will also not be able to bulk delete any buyer who has an active property search (status of looking and a search 'Valid Until' date in the future)
If any one of these nine policies applies you will not be able to delete the contact via the bulk delete process.
There is also a new 'Do Not Delete Before' field which can be set against any contact. You can use this to make sure that a contact is kept on the system above and beyond any of the policies defined above, for example if you have a prospective landlord or vendor who wishes to stay in touch. As long as this field is future dated, the contact cannot be deleted via the bulk delete flows. You can also filter on the index pages to find any contacts where this has been set.
If you wish, you can still delete them individually, although the system will warn that it is in contravening your data retention policy and ask you to confirm that you really do want to delete them anyway by ticking a box and resubmitting.
Bulk Deleting Contacts
On a periodic basis you should remove data that you no longer require based on your retention policies.
To do this use the 'Bulk Delete' option on the contact index pages. Depending on your requirements you can filter the list first via the search box on the right based on fields such as 'Status', 'Date Registered', etc.
Select the contacts you wish to delete then click 'Bulk Delete'. This will apply your data retention policies defined above and take you to a confirmation page listing the contacts that can be deleted, along with a second table showing a list of contacts which cannot be deleted and the reason why:
Please remember that GDPR also applies to other sources of data you may have stored outside the system such as manual filing systems, paper records and emails.