Arranging HMO PAT testing is no different to any other rental property, unless you supply equipment in bedrooms. In normal rentals its usually only communal appliances that are provided but in an HMO there are sometimes things like wall mounted televisions. If that is you then we’re going to need access to every room.
What it costs for HMO PAT testing depends on how many appliances are needed, if they are in bedrooms and what the access situation is.
The Housing Act 2004 (England and Wales) includes the requirement for a risk assessment for residential rental properties. This requires an assessment of all potential hazards that may be present in a residential property, and ‘to provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupiers or visitors’. From an electrical perspective this includes the electrical installation and equipment provided in the property. The condition of associated leads and plugs of equipment should also be taken into account in the assessment, if they are provided as part of the rental property.
Guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) indicates that when accommodation is re-let, the electrical equipment will be classed as being supplied to that tenant for the first time and should therefore be rechecked.
So, before the start of each new let of a residential property the electrical equipment supplied with it (e.g., fridge, washing machine, kettle, TV, etc.) should be PAT tested.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 require electrical equipment to be safe when first supplied, e.g. it should carry a genuine “CE” mark. This means it satisfies European safety requirements and so when new, will be safe to use.
These regulations also apply if equipment is supplied as part of a hire agreement, sold second hand and if supplied in the course of business, thus including the safety of electrical equipment that is supplied as part of furnished accommodation (treated as hired/leased).
The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 is important for companies that hire or supply equipment as part of a contract for good and services. Within a hire agreement, goods supplied under the contract must be electrically safe for use.
Newcastle City Council says it is a legal requirement that Newcastle Landlords have a property license; the compliance guidance for licensing (March 2020) stipulates that:
- All electrical appliances are tested on an annual basis and at the commencement of each tenancy.
- A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) Certificate should be provided to verify this.
The licence holder must ensure that all portable electrical appliances i.e. those items supplied by a plug e.g. kettles, toasters, washing machines, fridges etc provided by the landlord are in a safe condition.
Read the Property Licensing guide to compliance here
The guidance also requires the landlord to provide satisfactory periodic inspection reports for the electrical installation of the property for the license application; the “EICR” should be repeated every 5 years.