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Source: Privacy Commissioner

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards today announced his intention to focus on the collection, retention, and disclosure of personal information in the rental accommodation sector. Mr Edwards said his office had been made aware that some property management agencies and landlords are asking for very detailed information from prospective tenants as part of their selection process, while others are using the public forums to compile lists of so-called bad tenants.

I am concerned about some of the practices we are seeing, particularly during a time when pressure on tenants is high, Mr Edwards said. Demand for rental accommodation across New Zealand has led to prospective tenants competing for fewer properties, making them vulnerable to requests for personal information that go beyond what is necessary for assessing their suitability as a tenant.