I’ve got an EICR do I need to do a PAT testing too?
As a landlord, your main concern should always be your tenant’s safety in your property, so should you PAT test for additional safety?
Legally required certification is designed to ensure that all properties are as safe as, well… houses! Over time, the legal requirements for housing has changed, so as a reminder, here is what you must have before your tenants move in:
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- Gas Safety. You’ll need to update your Gas Safety Certificate every 12 months, so it’s worth mentioning that to your tenants when they move in, so they know to expect a check to be arranged in a year’s time
- EICR. An EICR is an electrical check you’ll need to update every five years
- EPC. An EPC is less about the safety of your property and more about its efficiency. It needs to be updated every 10 years, but we recommend that you get it updated whenever you make significant changes that could improve your rating (it’s a great selling point on your ad!). The minimum rating is expected to go up to C by 2025, so keep that in mind
- Deposit protection. You need to have the deposit protected in any of the three government approved schemes within 30 days of receiving it (if you use a letting agent, make sure they have done this) Alternatively, you can use our Deposit Replacement Scheme, but either way, your tenant must have written proof (known as the ‘prescribed information’) of this protection before they move in
- Fire alarms. While you can’t provide certification for this, you need to make sure that you have an alarm on every floor, including carbon monoxide alarms, if necessary and that they are all working before the tenant moves in. We recommend filming yourself testing them, as proof
You’ll notice that we haven’t included PAT testing in this list of must haves, so let’s take a look at what PAT testing actually is.
What is PAT testing?
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and is a specialised check on electrical appliances in the workplace to make sure that they fully comply with the UK’s Health and Safety at Work directives.
A PAT test usually includes:
- Visual inspection. This is a visual check of the appliance, flex and plug top for any signs of damage or overheating
- Plug top check. Each plug top is opened so the fuse and connections can be inspected and wire connections can be tightened
- Electrical tests. A series of tests is carried out on the appliance to ensure it is properly earthed and insulated
- Labelling and recording. A label is stuck on the appliance indicating a pass or a fail, along with the test date, re-test due date and appliance ID number. A detailed record is also kept, which can be passed along to the business for further information
Are PAT tests a legal requirement for landlords?
PAT testing is technically not a legal requirement. Businesses are legally required to ensure all electrical equipment is safe, ensuring the safety of employees and the public, so PAT tests provide this reassurance.
As landlords are required to have an EICR test, PAT testing is not an official requirement for landlords in England and Wales, it is however recommended.
The main difference between EICR and PAT testing is that EICRs check the electrical installations within a property, while PAT testing checks individual appliances. If you rent your property unfurnished, you aren’t responsible for the appliances.
However, if you rent furnished, you are legally required to make sure that all appliances you supply are safe, so while PAT testing isn’t a legal requirement, it’s the best way to ensure appliances are safe. We recommend having all electrical appliances to provide checked, including (but not limited to):
- Washing Machine
- Fridge freezer
When it comes to your potential liability and, most importantly, your tenant’s safety, it’s much better to be safe than sorry!