Landlord PAT testing is a requirement because a landlord has a duty to maintain the safety of electrical appliances, and there are specific regulations for a landlord which are outlined in The Consumer Protection Act 1987 and The Health and Safety at Work Act. These regulations highlight the importance of PAT testing for a landlord. The importance of landlord PAT testing is defined in the Consumer Protection Act 1987 which states “If you let a property you are deemed as a ‘supplier’ (supplying goods to the tenant).Therefore applicable to the safety of any electrical appliances (portable or fixed-wired) made available for use by the tenant.”
Furthermore, the importance of landlord PAT testing is also evident in The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: “A self-employed person is an individual who works for gain or reward otherwise than under a contract of employment whether or not he employs others. A tenant is a person affected by the landlords operations- in essence the electrical regulations directed at employers will also apply to landlords, their premises and their tenants.”
Therefore, it is strongly advisable for a landlord to complete the procedure of PAT testing on their property because a landlord has a duty as both a “supplier of goods” and a “person responsible” for an electrical installation. Thus, a landlord is responsible for ensuring all electrical appliances, or, “goods” have undergone PAT testing. A landlord’s electrical safety certificate will show evidence that these have been complied with. If PAT testing is not completed, a landlord is portrayed as failing to comply with safety regulations and this is considered a criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine and/ or 6 months imprisonment. This is why it is imperative that a landlord completes PAT testing and has an electrical certificate
A landlord should ensure they assign a competent PAT testing engineer who is knowledgeable and experienced for the best results. After completion of PAT testing the landlord will be given a safety certificate if their appliances pass, that is, after a routine check to confirm the correct wiring, correct earthing and the correct operation of safety devices. A visual survey of the electrical power points, light switches, earth bonding and fuse box is also included in the landlord’s electrical safety certificate. The recommended frequency of PAT testing for a landlord is annually, or, at a change of tenancy (if sooner).
The importance of PAT testing for a landlord is crucial because it is their responsibility to ensure the electrical installations in the property have undergone PAT testing, appliances include kettles, microwaves, toasters etc. After completion of PAT testing the landlord will be provided with a PAT testing certificate. The Landlord must keep this in order to guarantee that if any claims are made they would not be liable because they have completed sufficient PAT testing, which is why it is imperative that the landlord obtains a PAT testing certificate for their own protection, too. Overall, PAT testing for a landlord is an important sector of any landlord’s health and safety policy.