Privacy laws and real estate - is your agency complying?

 Privacy and agency policies - the following information is an extract from Chapter 32.7 of the PME Manual

The Privacy Act is federal legislation which affects most businesses in Australia. Agencies must have a privacy policy statement explaining to all customers and clients;

  • Why we are collecting information

  • How we are going to store it

  • What we are going to do with it – intended purposes

  • How to update information that the agency holds on file

  • How to make a complaint about privacy

Privacy statements should be included in all application forms and management agreements plus be readily available for anyone who wishes to view the agency policy. The laws require agencies to be open and transparent in relation to how people’s privacy is protected and handled. It is recommended that agency privacy policies are on their websites and people are advised that policies as updated are updated online.


The following information has been sourced from May 6th 2015.



As Australia observes Privacy Awareness Week, on Monday the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) published its findings in relation to its assessment of compliance with the requirements of Australian Privacy Principle 1 (APP 1) by 20 organisations with online privacy policies.  Organisations assessed include well known entities such as LinkedIn, Westpac Banking Corporation, and News Corp Australia.

APP 1 requires that organisations have a privacy policy that is clearly expressed and up to date.  While all organisations surveyed had easy-to-locate privacy policies, 55% of the policies did not comply with at least one of the requirements of APP 1.  In many cases, privacy policies:

    • did not outline how an individual could request access or correction of their personal information;
    • did not outline how the organisation would handle privacy related complaints; and
  • did not comply with the requirement to describe how the organisation protects the personal information that it holds with adequate detail.

The report acts as a timely reminder to organisations subject to the Privacy Act to review their privacy policies and business practices for compliance with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles.

If you are concerned that your business may not be compliant with the Privacy Act, HopgoodGanim’s Intellectual Property and ICT team has the required expertise to assist.

Real Estate Excellence members

Real Estate Excellence members are reminded that there are over 40 documents at Member online  in the Privacy Act information and best practice folder. These documents include training for staff presentation, fact sheets and guides for creating a privacy policy.


  • Access and correction of information fact sheet

  • Access to personal information APP 12

  • April 2014 version 1 Member update

  • Authority for either party to sign and authorise – landlord letter

  • Authority for either party to sign and authorise – seller letter

  • Change of banking details – lessor instruction to agent

  • Change of banking details – seller instruction to agent

  • Checklist – are we compliant with the privacy act

  • Collection personal information and making people aware why fact sheet

  • Correcting personal information APP 13

  • Data quality and the privacy act

  • Direct marketing and the Privacy act

  • Direct marketing APP 7

  • Duty to keep personal information up to date

  • Guide to securing personal information

  • New tenant privacy consent

  • Openness requirements under the privacy act

  • Password form to access information – seller

  • Password form to access information lessor and tenant

  • Personal information that is publicly available fact sheet

  • Privacy Act – Australian principles

  • Privacy act training video

  • Privacy principles as at March 2014

  • Privacy questions – recommended article to review

  • Privacy Policy statement requirement APP 1

  • Protecting other peoples information

  • Release of information to law enforcement

  • Scanning of documents and the privacy act

  • Security of personal information APP 11

  • Spam Act understanding consent – email and sms marketing

  • Tips to protect your customers personal information

  • Training presentation power point for staff

  • Updated personal information form – for client and customer

  • Use or disclosure of personal information APP 6


Real Estate Excellence privacy policy