Two weeks ago, we conducted a client survey on removing the job address contact name and telephone number from all of our certificates. We had received several requests to make this change due to it potentially not being GDPR compliant.
We received strong support for this modification from those who answered the survey. A minority of clients had objections/ questions, so we have reached out to answer those, which we will also cover in this post.
Keep reading to find out exactly what this change entails, learn more about the survey, and check out our responses to client queries.
What is the change?
The upcoming change will remove the Job Address name and telephone number - the property address itself will remain. This will make certificates more compliant with GDPR.
For example, currently, a tenant's name and phone number displays on the certificate with the job address. If that tenant moves out of the property, the next tenant would be able to access the previous tenant's personal details (without permission) via the certificate. This can be problematic for GDPR.
Please note the following:
- This change is designed to improve GDPR compliance.
- Certificates apply to the property (or appliance within), not the tenant, so there is no legal issue to remove this information.
- Landlord and private customer details will still display in full.
- Regardless of these changes, the name of whoever approves the certificate can be displayed alongside their signature.
See below for examples of how addresses are displayed currently and how they will be displayed once this change is made.
Tenant - future format:
For private customers, their full details (including name and phone number) will display in the Landlord/agent section. This is because homeowners can be considered to be their own landlord. Currently, for some certs the Landlord/agent address is replaced with "N/A" - once we make this change, "N/A" will be replaced with the full customer address. This ensures that private customers' names and phone numbers are still displayed on the certificate.
Private customer - current format:
Client survey and feedback
We wanted to run this potential change by our clients first, in order to hear your feedback - so we conducted a survey. Thank you to all who responded!
Didn't receive our survey email? Make sure you sign up to the client services email subscription, we only send this out occasionally, usually for feedback or important notifications.
The proposed change received overwhelming support, with 85.5% of respondents agreeing with the idea.
For the 14.5% that had objections or questions, we have read through all of the feedback and responded to each of you individually. We are confident that there are satisfactory solutions to the queries we received, which we will detail below.
Answer: This was the most common objection we received. Yes, we consulted with Gas Safe - due to GDPR there is no requirement for the contact name and telephone number to be on the certificate, as long as the property address is there.
For more information from Gas Safe, see: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/gas-safety-certificates-records/gas-safety-record/
Concern that when a tenant signs-off a certificate, their name would not display
Answer: Should a tenant be the responsible person to sign-off a certificate, their name would display next to their signature regardless (as below). It's important to make sure you fill out the name of whoever signs-off the certificate when collecting the signature.
Concern that private customer names and telephone numbers would not display on the certificate
Answer: Private customers' names and phone numbers will display in the landlord section of the certificate (as homeowners are considered to be their own landlord) - see above for an example. If a private customer signs-off the certificate, their name would be recorded at the signature collection stage too.
Concern that the landlord contact name and phone number would be removed from the certificate
Answer: The landlord contact name, address, and phone number will be displayed in full. See above for an example.
Could this be an optional setting?
Answer: No, unfortunately not. Due to the way that Commusoft and our certificates are built it is not possible for this to be an optional toggle. Certificates are generated in the same way across all accounts and clients.
We are currently working on many other new features and improvements and are evaluating when our developers can best make this update. Whilst a seemingly small change, certificates are a core feature for all of our users and therefore, any modifications will require thorough development and full testing for bugs. We are hoping to release this in the very near future and will provide further updates via our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn once we have a date planned.