It is a requirement for landlords to undergo the procedure of PAT testing because it is the landlord’s obligation to maintain all electrical appliances. There are specific PAT testing regulations for landlords 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 landlords.
The importance of PAT testing for landlords 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 PAT testing for landlords 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 that landlords complete PAT testing on their property because landlords have a duty as “supplier of goods” and a “person responsible” for an electrical installation. Thus, landlords are 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, landlords fail 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 to have a landlord’s electrical certificate completed in order to be able to show you took reasonable steps to avoid committing an offence.
Landlords should ensure they assign a “competent” PAT testing engineer who is knowledgeable and experienced for the best results. After completion of PAT testing landlords 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 landlords is annually, or, at a change of tenancy (if sooner). After completion of PAT testing for landlords the landlord will be provided with a PAT testing certificate. Landlords must keep this in order to guarantee that if any claims are made they would not be liable because they have undergone sufficient PAT testing, which is why it is imperative that landlords obtain a PAT testing certificate for their own protection, too.