GDPR and Real Estate Companies
Most real estate companies also provide rental services: they search for tenants, get the paperwork done and in some cases make sure the rent is collected each month. In these cases the owner/landlord is the client of the real estate agent, and the tenant is a third party.
Still, the tenant has rights under GDPR!
A tenant filed a complaint before the Spanish DPA against a real estate company that had allegedly not provided the information required by GDPR when they formalised the first payment for an apartment, for which the tenant had provided personal data.
GDPR and “household exemption”
GDPR accepts the principle of the so-called “household exemption” : article 2 (2) (c) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) states that it does not apply to the processing of personal data “by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity”.
It can be argued that renting out a house by a natural person is an activity that relates to the management of personal assets and is a personal activity. In that case the household exemption will apply.
At the same time, you need to be cautious! In order to fall within the scope of the household exemption there can be no connection to a professional or commercial activity. So as the size of your rental activity gets larger, so do your GDPR obligations.
GDPR and Real Estate
Simply put : if you rent out one apartment, you might be able to invoke the household exemption. If you rent out 10 apartments you are engaging in a professional and/or commercial activity and GDPR will apply.