Case Note 211497 [2010] NZ Priv Cmr 22 : Complainant requests information provided to real estate agency by referees

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The complainant applied to rent a house through a real estate agency. As part of that process the agency conducted a credit check and obtained references from the complainant’s referees. The rental application was subsequently declined. The complainant asked to see all the information the real estate agency held. No information was provided.We contacted the real estate agency and it advised us that the only information it held was a credit check and the complainant’s application form. The complainant already had copies of these. The agency also referred to reference checks it had carried out. It was apparent that an employee of the agency had spoken to the referees but had not made a written record of those conversations. Principle 6Principle 6 of the Privacy Act provides an individual with the right to access personal information that is readily retrievable. That can include information held in someone’s mind.