Could I Claim Compensation After An Estate Agent Data Breach?

Have you suffered mental harm, financial loss, or both due to an estate agent data breach in which your personal data was compromised? Are you unsure whether you’re able to claim data breach compensation? If so, this guide will help you.

Two key pieces of legislation govern how certain parties handle your personal data. Your data could become compromised if they fail to abide by the established rules. This guide will look more closely at the laws and the eligibility requirements you must satisfy to make a personal data breach claim.

You may need clarification about what is classified as personal data or how a breach could occur. We will explain what personal data is and provide examples of how breaches of it could occur later in our guide.

All successful data breach claims will see a settlement awarded. This guide will discuss what could be included in your payout and the resources that could be used to value your case.

Our final section explores the benefits of instructing a No Win No Fee solicitor, should you have an eligible case. Our panel of solicitors offer a specific kind of contract and have previously offered dedicated support in similar cases.

For more information on seeking data breach compensation, please contact an advisor. You can do so by:

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Estate Agent Data Breach – When Could You Claim?

Select A Section

  1. When Could You Claim For An Estate Agent Data Breach?
  2. What Personal Information Could An Estate Agent Handle?
  3. Examples Of How An Estate Agent Data Breach Could Happen
  4. Estimating The Value Of Claims For An Estate Agent Data Breach
  5. Check If You Could Make A No Win No Fee Claim For An Estate Agent Data Breach
  6. Guidance On Other Data Breach Compensation Claims

When Could You Claim For An Estate Agent Data Breach?

A data controller determines how and why your data is used. The controller can also process your personal data themselves or outsource this task to a data processor who acts on the controllers instruction. 

Both controllers and processors must adhere to certain data protection laws, which include the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). If they breach data protection laws, and this results in your personal data being compromised, it could lead to you experiencing financial loss, mental harm, or both.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are a UK independent executive body set up to uphold your information rights. They define a personal data breach as a security incident that affects personal data’s confidentiality, availability and integrity.

If you have been affected by an estate agent data breach, you must satisfy the following eligibility criteria to pursue compensation. To make a personal data breach claim, you must show that:

  • The failings of the data controller or data processor led to a data breach.
  • This breach involved your personal data.
  • Because of the breach, you suffered financial loss, psychological harm or both.

 Related Data Breach Claims Time Limits

There is a limitation period for starting a data breach claim. Generally, you have 6 years to begin legal proceedings. However, this is reduced to 1 year when claiming against a public body.

Get in touch with our advisors to check whether you’re still in time to claim data breach compensation. Our advisors could also answer any questions you have regarding when to report a data breach.

What Personal Information Could An Estate Agent Handle?

Article 5 of the UK GDPR sets out seven key principles which should be at the centre of an organisation’s approach to personal data. One of the key principles is data minimisation which means that data controllers should only collect data necessary for a specific purpose. In the case of your estate agent, they would collect personal data essential to providing you with their service. 

Personal data is information that can directly or indirectly, when accompanied by other information, identify you. This could include your name, address or banking information.

Additionally, there is another type of personal data called special category data which is more sensitive information that requires greater protection. Examples include data revealing your ethnic origin or biometric data, which could be obtained when you provide identity documentation.

If you have experienced an estate agent data breach and have any questions about the personal information that could have been affected, contact our advisors today.

Examples Of How An Estate Agent Data Breach Could Happen

Below, we have provided examples of how a data breach by an estate agent could occur. 

  • Your estate agent’s software could be hacked due to poor cyber security systems, leading to your financial information being leaked. This could lead to unauthorised purchases being made on your credit card.
  • Despite updating your estate agent with your new address, they might send a letter that contains personal information to the wrong postal address.
  • When sending an email, your estate agent may fail to use the blind carbon copy (BCC) function. As such, your personal email address could be shared with several people without your consent, meaning you suffer a stress due to a breach.

You may be unsure whether your circumstances mean you are able to make an estate agent data breach compensation claim. Contact our team of advisors today to discuss your specific case. If deemed eligible, you may be able to work with a solicitor from our panel.

Estimating The Value Of Claims For An Estate Agent Data Breach

Successful claims for an estate agent data breach could see compensation awarded for: 

  • Material damage which refers to the financial losses incurred due to the data breach. For example, if your debit card details are leaked, unauthorised payments could be made from your account.
  • Non-material damage which refer to the psychological harm you’ve suffered following the breach. This could include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and stress.

Prior to the case of Vidal-Hall and others v. Google Inc [2015], claimants would have to prove they suffered financial loss if they wanted to claim for mental harm. However, this case set a precedent to allow you to claim for psychological damage independently of monetary loss. You could also claim for both together. 

Furthermore, the case of Gulati & others v MGN Limited [2015] made it clear that psychological harm can be valued as it would be in personal injury claims. As such, legal professionals can assign value to your claim using the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

The JCG provides guideline award brackets for different types of harm and has been used to provide the table below. Please remember that the figures displayed for non-material damage are only a guide because compensation levels vary from case to case.

Compensation Table

Psychiatric DamageSevere£54,830 to £115,730Marked problems coping with work and relationships as well as with other areas of their life and a poor prognosis accompanying this.
Moderately Severe£19,070 to £54,830There are significant problems coping with multiple areas of life. Despite this, the prognosis is much more optimistic than that of the above bracket.
Moderate£5,860 to £19,070Problems similar to those above. However, improvement is notable and the prognosis good.
Less Severe£1,540 to £5,860Award considers how long the person suffered and how badly they were affected.
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere£59,860 to £100,670All aspects of the persons life will be badly affected. Their ability to work won't approach anything close to what it was pre-trauma.
Moderately Severe£23,150 to £59,860The effects of the trauma will cause significant disability for the foreseeable future. However, some recovery will be made with professional help.
Moderate£8,180 to £23,150A large recovery will be made and any continuing effects won't be grossly disabling.
Less Severe£3,950 to £8,180A mostly complete recovery within a couple of years. If there are any ongoing issues lasting for a longer period of time, these will only be minor.

Get in touch with our advisors now for a free valuation of your potential data breach claim. Your compensation could be estimated, and any questions you may have will be answered.

Check If You Could Make A No Win No Fee Claim For An Estate Agent Data Breach

Once you’ve reached out to our advisors, a free case assessment will be conducted to determine if your claim is valid. If your case is eligible and has a good chance of success, you may be offered the services of a solicitor from our panel.

Our panel of solicitors work under a certain No Win No Fee contract, called a Conditional Fee Agreement. This presents several benefits, including no fees for your solicitor’s service upfront, throughout your case or if it’s unsuccessful.

If your case succeeds, you will be awarded compensation for the damage you suffered due to the estate agent data breach. Your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation, referred to as a success fee. However, this is legally capped and only small, ensuring the majority of the compensation is yours to keep.

Contact Us

Contact our advisors today to find out whether you can claim compensation due to your estate agent compromising your personal data. They are here to help for free 24/7 so why not get in touch by:

Guidance On Other Data Breach Compensation Claims

Below, we have provided some links to more of our articles:

For some external resources:

We hope this guide on claims for an estate agent data breach has helped. If you have any other questions, please contact an advisor to learn more.