Document retention and disposal for housing associations

This document explains the requirements to retain and dispose of data for housing associations and provides guidance on appropriate data handling and disposal.

22 October 2018

We have revised and updated our advisory document retention and disposal schedule (formerly the document retention schedule), in the light of recent changes to data protection law, particularly the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018, which both took effect in May 2018.

The new guidelines and schedule are available to download below. Many thanks to the housing associations involved in helping us prepare this revised schedule.

The guidelines

This guidance is designed to provide a basis for housing associations to develop their own policy on document retention.

This document covers all types of data held that organisations hold or have control over, including:

  • physical data, such as hard copy documents, contracts, notebooks, letters and invoices
  • electronic data such as emails, electronic documents, audio and video recordings and CCTV recordings
  • personal data and non-personal data
  • data held by third parties that organisations use on their behalf.

Download the guidance

The schedule

The data retention schedule lists the principal documentation that housing associations should keep, together with details of statutory and recommended retention periods. 

This reflects guidance from the Federation that, in the circumstances of housing associations, it may be appropriate to keep documents for longer than the minimum period laid down by law.

Download the schedule