Updated: Apr 1, 2022
The safety of tenants is always a concern for landlords. One potential threat to this safety is defective or insufficiently-tested electrical appliances, which lead to fires and explosions. The Portable Appliance Test, or PAT, is an electrical safety test of various devices designed to ensure the safety of your home. The PAT was first introduced by the UK government's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 1985. It is required of landlords before they will be issued a license, but it is also available for houses with electric heating.
If you rent out a home, you have a duty of care to guarantee the safety of any appliances offered. As a landlord, a PAT test performed by a skilled Metro-PAT engineer will ensure that your electrical device (s) complies with stringent industry rules.
The regulations governing PAT testing for landlords might be a little perplexing. So we've included all the information you need to know in this post, including what a PAT test is, which appliances it covers, what your legal obligations are, and how often you'll need one.
Does the law require PAT testing for landlords?
Portable Appliance Testing is not a legal obligation for landlords in England and Wales, but it is best to practice. According to the government, landlords must ensure that "the electrical system is safe" and that "any items they furnish are safe."
While it is not a government's legal obligation, it may be a condition imposed by your local council. Landlords in some areas of the UK are required to do a PAT test on their electrical items.
PAT examinations are required in houses of multiple occupations (HMOs).
Why do landlords need a PAT test?
Getting a professional PAT test on any appliances you provide in your rental home assists you in meeting your duty of care to your tenant.
In 2018-2019, electrical appliances were responsible for 53.4 per cent of unintentional house fires in England, with 25.9 per cent directly caused by malfunctioning electrical equipment.
Your tenant will be considerably safer if you ensure that all electrical equipment is safe to use. Furthermore, if your renter is injured by the tested and certified equipment you supplied, you can prove that you did everything to safeguard their safety.
Which electrical appliances need PAT testing?
A typical 'rule of thumb' for PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) is to test everything with a portable electrical socket that a person can move.
Appliances may include a variety of things, such as:
Radios and stereos
For testing reasons, larger appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, and dishwashers may seem permanent, but they are considered portable since they contain a plug.
Similarly, certain items that are fastened to a surface yet contain a plug socket, such as a heated towel rail, must be PAT tested.
Extension cords are another routinely examined item since they are a prevalent safety issue. Realistically, extension leads should be avoided whenever feasible, but if you do supply them to your renter, it's a good idea to have them checked.
Where can I get a landlord's PAT test?
At Metro-PAT 24/7 Ltd, we provide PAT testing services across the whole of London.