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┬ácare 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

What are tenants responsible for?

If a kitchen cupboard door falls off, is the tenant or landlord responsible for fixing it? The starting position is if a task requires a specialist skill, it falls to the landlord to sort out. But it's not always that easy – so let's take a look at this sometimes confusing area.

What the law says

The law says tenants should treat a property in a 'tenant like' way, which means being respectful to fixtures and fittings and avoiding activities likely to cause damage. So if you keep an old motorbike in the lounge and flush dirty clothes down the loo, you're probably not being 'tenant like'. Tenants are expected to carry out simple jobs like changing light bulbs and checking smoke alarm batteries, but the landlord must be told if anything more complex needs to be done.

What the tenancy agreement says

Sometimes a tenancy agreement will provide written confirmation of how responsibility is split between landlord and tenant. For example, it might state the tenant will maintain the garden to stop it becoming overgrown, or have the property cleaned by professionals at the end of the tenancy. It's also common to spell out who's responsible for repair or replacement of faulty items such as washing machines.

If it's dangerous, it's probably the landlord's responsibility

Some parts of a property can represent a threat to health and safety if they fall into disrepair, like the building's structure, plumbing, heating, chimneys, gas appliances and electrical wiring systems. The landlord is likely to be responsible for these and any shared parts of the building, such as stairways and entry halls. The landlord also has a duty to keep a property free of vermin, pests and damp or mould.

Can a tenant do their own DIY?

If you know your way around a screwdriver, it might be tempting to sort out problems yourself in order to make a nicer living environment. However, care should be taken to get written agreement from the landlord before undertaking any work, otherwise the tenant could find themselves paying to return the property to its former state if the landlord doesn't approve of the changes.

Accidental damage caused by the tenant or a visitor

If the property is damaged by the tenant or a guest – for example, through a party getting out of hand – it's not the landlord who'll have to stump up the cash for repairs. Even if the damage is accidental, the landlord is within their rights to ask the tenant to sort out the problem or pay for someone else to do so.

Regular inspections

It's a good idea to agree to property inspections around every three months. This way, any problems can be picked up before they develop into something serious, whether it's a safety issue with a wobbly step, a damp problem or a tenant letting a house go to rack and ruin. Tenants should be given notice of inspections and any damage to decor caused by repairs should be put right by the landlord.

Whether you're a tenant or landlord, it's important to have the right insurance in place to protect your property and belongings.


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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