PAT testing is a common practice used for landlords to ensure their electrical appliances meet the safety requirements for the incoming tenant and there are several misconceptions regarding the law and PAT testing for landlords.
So is PAT testing a legal requirement for a landlord ?
The short answer is no, unless the property is an HMO where different requirements are required, a PAT test is not a legal requirement. Things are not as straight forward as it seems though and we’ll explain why it can get confusing.
Due to the awareness of PAT testing many potential tenants are aware of the testing process and they realize it means appliances have been deemed to be safe to use if they have a pass label and of course if an appliance is tested and failed, it must be repaired or replaced before being fit for use. Most responsible landlords will replace these items because repair will cost more than the repair in many cases. This awareness generally means tenants expect to see valid PAT test records for appliances within the property regarding of whether it is a legal requirement or not and it can affect how quickly your property will rent out so a vast majority of landlords will have the test carried out at every tenant change simply because it’s not an expensive test to be carried out and it helps get the formalities out the way.
Who Can Request PAT Test Records ?
In 2016 you will find almost all leasing agencies will request your PAT test results for the property, in fact it is rare for a leasing agency not to ask for them, so why would a leasing agency request PAT testing records ? The truth is it makes your property more attractive to some people if the test results are on hand to verify to potential tenants the property has passed an electrical safety check regarding the appliances. Another factor which pertains to agencies is the fact many employers who are relocating staff will use an agency to to find a suitable property. Employers have certain responsibilities to their employees and an employer will not rent a property for an employee without all the relevant test certificates being up to date this includes gas safety as well as PAT testing. The reason being if the employee were to rent the property in their own name, the PAT test would not legally be required, however if the employer is renting the property for the employee they have certain legal obligations and will not accept a property if it does not meet their requirements.
The Picture Becomes clearer
As you can see from the examples above although a PAT test is not a legal requirement by law it is virtually a prerequisite to renting a property in 2016 and beyond. Even private landlords not using an agency but simply advertising their properties to rent on place like Gumtree.com are advertising their properties stating their properties have just been PAT tested, that’s how expected the service is.
It Makes Sense
The simply fact is if you rent a property and you’re appliances were tested prior to the new tenant moving in, in the unlikely event something were to happen you have test results showing you have fully complied with your obligations as a landlord and this is likely to prevent legal action against you. The law in this area does need fine tuned because landlords do have legal obligations but the law falls short of bridging any loopholes for unscrupulous landlords who will try and save the small cost of having a PAT test carried out and potentially put their tenants at risk.
We will be only too happy to quote you for all your PAT testing requirements.