Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, we now have a limited number of staff in the office. During this time, we're committed to supporting you in the best way we can. We'll be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

  • At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.
    • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
    • If you're a home, bike or van customer, or for any customers wishing to cancel their insurance, please use our online forms.
  • If you do phone, we will only be able to deal with your query if:
    • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
    • You are worried about making future payments, or
    • Your policy is due to renew in less than a week and you're concerned the policy is no longer suitable for you, or
    • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.
  • For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and how to use our online services.
  • Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm and Sunday Closed. If do you need to call us, please bear with us as it may take us longer to answer your call. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes you.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Five landlord's responsibilities you may not be aware of

Every landlord has a long list of responsibilities for the properties they let. These include everything from issuing rental agreements to making sure properties are safe. But there are a handful of other legal landlord duties that aren't as obvious, so let's take a look at five of them.

1. Organising annual gas inspections

Its common sense that landlords are responsible for making sure gas and electrical equipment is tip-top. However, what you might not know is that they have to arrange an inspection every year with a Gas Safe registered engineer. A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be given to tenants after every inspection.

2. Producing a valid EPC

Landlords also have a legal duty to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for all properties before renting them out. An EPC analyses the energy performance of a house and offers tips on how to improve energy efficiency.

The law changed in April this year for new lets and tenancy renewals, making it a legal requirement for properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E. It's due to be rolled out to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2020.

3. Carrying out immigration checks

Tenant screening is key to stress-free tenancies. An important part of this involves landlords carrying out a 'right to rent' check on a tenant, which is pretty much what it says on the tin: making sure the tenant is allowed to live in the UK and therefore, has a right to rent from you. As the Gov.UK website states, this process involves asking for documents proving they can live in the UK, checking they're genuine, producing copies and dating them.

Landlords are advised to familiarise themselves with the exact right to rent requirements and code of practice. And a word of warning – it's illegal to only check people you believe aren't British, and failing to carry out checks could result in an unlimited fine or prison sentence.

4. Securing tenants' deposits

Landlords are legally required to safeguard their tenants' deposits by placing the money in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). These schemes are backed by the government and will make sure tenants receive their deposit back at the end of agreement, provided they have met the agreed terms, haven't damaged the property, and have paid the rent and bills.

5. Bathroom repairs

If the bath's leaking or the toilet's flush gives up, the landlord has to fix it. The same goes for any other sanitary fittings, as well as heating and hot water systems. Also, any other issues with the structure of the property falls on the landlord to put right; they must give 24-hour's notice, though in emergencies they may be able to gain access immediately.

Do any of these come as a surprise to you?

Home insurance

At Hastings Direct, we know how important your home and its contents are to you. That's why we offer home insurance that covers you for the unexpected expense that theft, loss and damage can bring. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

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