All new housing applicants signing for a new tenancy, and existing tenants who are transferring or mutually exchanging properties with Apex, will be asked to have their photograph taken when they sign for the property. If it is a joint tenancy, photographs will be requested from both joint tenants.
Here we explain why Apex asks to take a photograph of you when you sign a tenancy agreement with us. We also explain how the photograph will be stored and used by us.
Why does Apex need a photograph of me?
Most tenants who have signed up to an Apex tenancy have done so legally and have every right to live in one of our homes. Unfortunately, a few people will take advantage of the Housing Selection Scheme, which is used to allocate our homes, to get a home they are not entitled to thereby committing tenancy fraud.
What is Tenancy Fraud?
Tenancy fraud is the use of social housing by someone who is not entitled to be there.
Apex is dedicated to tackling tenancy fraud.
Part of Apex’s Tenancy Fraud Policy is to have a photograph of each new tenant so that we can reduce the opportunity for identity impersonation and unlawful subletting.
What will the photograph be used for?
The photograph will be used to complement identity checks. So whenever we visit a tenant, for example a home visit, we can take a photograph along so we know that the right person is in the right property. Even if we get new staff, they will have a clear picture of what the tenant
The photograph will not be used for any other purpose other than to verify who a tenant is.
What kind of photograph is needed?
We will take a digital photograph using a digital camera, webcam or mobile phone. The photograph will be in colour and of your full face and shoulders.
We may ask to update your photograph if/when you have lived in your property for more than 5 years.
How will the photograph be stored?
We will treat the photograph in the same way as we treat other personal data to ensure we comply with Data Protection principles where they apply.
We will store the photograph electronically on your tenancy file.
Once the photograph has been transferred onto your tenancy file it will be deleted from the camera/webcam/mobile.
Any paper copies printed for the purpose of verifying your identity at visit stage will be destroyed when the visit has been completed.
If you leave your Apex tenancy, your photograph, as with all records relating to your tenancy, will be held for 6 years after which it will be destroyed.
Will the photograph be shared with anyone outside of Apex?
As with all personal data, Apex will not share your data with other third party organisations unless it is necessary for managing your tenancy, for example, in relation to combating tenancy fraud, or where we have a statutory obligation to do so.
We will comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 whenever we share a photograph with other parties as it is the practice for personal data for tenants.
Will I still have to provide other identification at Sign Up?
Yes. When an applicant has been offered an Apex tenancy you are required to provide us with valid photographic ID at Sign Up stage. You are required to provide one form of primary identification or two forms of secondary identification.
Primary Identification (1 required)
- Current UK driving licence
- Current passport or National Identity Card
- Translink Senior Smartpass
- Electoral Identity Card
Secondary Identification (2 required)
- Benefit payment book
- Birth Certificate
- Credit/Bank Cards
- Utility Bill (previous quarter)
- Medical Card
- Recent bank statement/wage slip
- Marriage certificate
What happens next?
When you have your appointment to sign your tenancy agreement, you will be asked to have your photograph taken at this appointment.
You will be asked to sign a consent form before the photograph is taken. This form gives us your permission to take and store the photograph in accordance with our Tenancy Fraud policy.
If you would like more information, please contact a member of the Housing Department.
Telephone: 028 7130 4800
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm