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Landlords don't need an annual PAT test - but do they realise?

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While PAT testing (portable appliance testing) is an important part of ensuring the safety of their tenants, many landlords are unaware that there is no legal requirement for domestic properties to be annually PAT tested.

Whereas the law states that gas safety checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer every 12 months, the safety requirements and recommendations for electrical installations and appliances are quite different.

With regards to portable appliances, the Electrical Equipments (Safety) Regulations 1994 state that the landlord must make sure that appliances are safe when first supplied to a tenant.
To achieve this, it is recommended that landlords arrange for a PAT test to be carried out at the start of each tenancy.

Similarly, according to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the electrical installation in a property must be safe when the tenancy starts and should be kept in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. This means carrying out periodic inspections to make sure that there are no obvious signs of damage.

It is recommended that the landlord arranges Periodic Electrical Inspections every 3-5 years, depending on the age and condition of the installation. Once a qualified electrician has carried out a periodic inspection, they should advise in their written report when the next inspection is due.

By adhering to the guidelines set out in a qualified electrician’s written report, landlords and property managers alike can rest assured that they have taken all the necessary steps to safeguard their tenants and themselves.

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