PAT testing for Landlords FAQs
Does a landlord need to do PAT testing?
To make sure electrical equipment is safe, a landlord, like any other business owner, needs to get the electrical appliances provided as part of the tenancy agreement, tested, to make sure they are safe.
They need testing before the tenancy begins, and then should be rechecked at regular intervals throughout the term of the tenancy – it is usual for these checks to be done annually.
Regular PATs will help to reduce the chances of a damaged appliance not being spotted, and thus reduce the risk of fires or electric shock.
This page is intended to provide guidance to Landlords who rent out property that includes electrical appliances. If you know what you need to do and want to arrange your PAT testing, please contact us here.
Do I need to PAT test my tenant’s equipment?
As the landlord you only need to test the equipment you provide, as you have a duty of care to your tenant.
You do not have to test your tenants equipment, but for peace of mind for your own insurance etc you may want to make sure the tenant is using genuine appliances, and correctly.
How often do I need to get equipment tested?
It depends on the circumstances; you should always get equipment tested at the start of a tenancy before the tenant moves in. Then you need to get equipment checked again, ideally by the same person, within an acceptable time period to minimise risk. In most cases this is done annually, but if you change tenant sooner you’ll need to get a new test done then.
If you find the tenant becomes long term, you may be able to increase the intervals between tests, if the risk allows.
I have an HMO, do I need to get equipment tested for that?
Yes; the same rules apply.
However, some councils have specific rules on HMO’s which may regulate how often you get appliances checked.
Do you charge more for HMO PAT Testing?
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.
Do we do PAT and EICR?
Yes, we can manage both your fixed wiring and appliance inspections.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement for landlords?
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.