It is recommended that Landlords obtain an electrical test certificate to show that their electrical installation is safe, this includes the main wiring and any portable appliances provided, in order to comply with ‘portable appliance testing law’.
Landlords electrical test certificates would cover the main electrical wiring installation, and is more commonly referred to as the periodic inspection or EICR, and portable appliances. Following the inspection and testing of these two installations test certificates will be issued to the landlord.
Landlords electrical test certificate
Legal obligations for Landlords of rental properties is in place in Scotland but has not yet filtered down in to England, however, if you follow the news then you’ll know it is only a matter of time before it becomes compulsory for landlords to have electrical inspections on a regular basis. In the mean time here is an overview of the law concerning portable appliance testing for landlords.
PAT testing for Landlords is important as it provides a level of protection in the event of an accident in the property.
“Portable Appliance Testing Law” for Landlords includes:
Anyone who lets residential property, including houses, flats, holiday homes, caravan parks, canal boats, etc. is conducting a business activity and so is required by law to ensure that any electrical equipment provided as part of the letting agreement is safe.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 requires that all mains electrical equipment e.g. cookers, washing machines, kettles, microwaves, Televisions, etc. supplied with the accommodation must be safe, and recorded as such. Landlords therefore need to regularly maintain the electrical appliances they supply to ensure they are safe, and thus need to get the appliances inspected and tested to prove that the maintenance is being done correctly and that the appliances are in fact safe.
The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 (acting as secondary legislation under the Consumer Protection Act) relate to the supply of plugs, sockets, adaptors and fuses intended for domestic use, with a working voltage of not less than 200 volts, and also the supply of any appliance that had a plug fitted.
Because the regulations relate to the “supply”, then the lettings agent or landlord become liable as the supplier. The regulations require the supplier to ensure that the goods are safe, so their is no risk to the tenant, pets, or the property itself.
Part I of the Regulations require:
- That where any plug, socket or adapter is supplied which is intended for domestic use, that it complies with the appropriate current standard. This means that they must conform to the relevant British Standards (i.e. BS1363) or approved alternatives. British Standard BS1363 covers 13 Amp fused plugs, switched and un-switched sockets. The standard now requires that the live and neutral pins on plugs are part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets.
- That plugs be fitted with a fuse that conforms to BS1362, i.e. the standard for general purpose fuses for domestic or similar purposes. The fuses also need to be rated correctly either in accordance with the appliance manufacturers instructions or to BS1362.
Part II of the Regulations require:
- That where any appliance is supplied which is designed to connect to a socket, directly or indirectly, it has a plug which conforms to BS1363 (as above). The appliances covered by the Regulations operate at not less than 200 volts and not more than 13 Amp and also have a flexible cable or cord for connecting to a socket. Most appliances are now supplied with cables with moulded plugs.
- Appliances with a non-UK plug, to safety standard *IEC 884-1, and which have the approved type of conversion plug, are allowed and can be supplied. Conversion plugs enable non-UK plugs to be engaged with UK sockets.
Part III of the Regulations require:
- That a standard or conversion plug be legibly marked or labelled identifying it as approved.
- That any necessary information to operate the plug safely will be either marked on the plug or provided in a notice accompanying it.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that all electrical appliances supplied with let accommodation must be safe. This applies to both new and second hand appliances and covers all electrical appliances supplied for the intended use of the tenant. The only method to ensure that the appliances are safe is to have them inspected by a qualified and experienced portable appliance testing technician.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1989 impose the obligation on the supplier of such goods to ensure that they are ‘safe’ as defined by Section 19 of the Act – so that there is no risk of injury or death to humans or pets, or risk of damage to property.
As a Landlord you are the supplier of goods, and so you are accountable to these regulations.