Domestic PAT testing is crucial for landlords because this ensures protection for the tenants; also, nearly every estate agent recommends domestic PAT testing from a landlord. Landlords have a commitment and legal responsibility to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe, and domestic PAT testing can prove this. The necessity of domestic PAT testing for a landlord is defined in the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 both of which are components of the Consumer Protection Act 1987. In case of an accident or injury where a claim is held against the landlord, the landlord will have to show “due diligence” in regards to the safety of electrical appliances. However, domestic PAT testing can prove that the landlord took responsibility in ensuring that all domestic appliances were safe.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 states that in a domestic property all supplied appliances must be safe and comply with testing regulations. As a domestic property, the landlord is represented as a supplier of goods, thus the appliances which are provided by the landlord to the tenant must be harmless, and regular domestic PAT testing would be best suited for this. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that “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.” Therefore, as a domestic property the tenant’s safety must be a primary concern for the landlord in order to avoid liability for any injuries that may incur.
If a landlord does not comply with safety regulations of a domestic property it 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 to have a landlord’s electrical certificate completed as a result of having gone through the procedure of domestic PAT testing. A landlord’s electrical safety certificate is issued after domestic PAT testing to confirm that the wiring, earthing and operation of domestic appliances are not dangerous. Additionally, domestic PAT testing includes a visual survey of the electrical power points, light switches, earth bonding and fuse box.
Domestic PAT testing is valuable and advisable in regards to household protection and testing in consent with regulatory standards.