Portable Appliance Tests or PATs are an electrical check carried out on ‘movable’ items such as kettles, microwaves, hoovers, table lamps, toasters and coffee machines and many electricians will tell you they must be carried out before tenants move into a property.
Portable Appliance Testing and the Law
Legally speaking this is not true. There is no law that says PAT checks must be carried out, something the government recently clarified.
What the law does state is that all electrical equipment within a rental property must be safe to use and that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure this before tenants move in and, equally, during the tenancy too.
Most experts, including those from the Electrical Safety Council, recommend landlords make a visual inspection of all the electrical appliances provided within each rented property so check cables aren’t worn or that plugs are damaged. It is also recommended that any new items feature the ‘CE’ kite mark which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all European safety legislation.
Portable Appliance Testing: A Landlord’s Choice
Whether you then decide to get all the items PAT checked is a matter of choice not law. But most experts agree that, if landlords want peace of mind, then the £50-£100 it will cost to get a qualified electrician in to complete PAT checks is worth it.
A visual examination is the most important factor, but if an item were to short and then catch fire then being able to prove that it had been PAT checked recently (every two years for smaller items and four years for larger ones) would help matters.
More importantly, PAT checks may flag up potential problems before tenants move in, but don’t rely on them alone – they should not be completed instead of a visual check but rather as a back up.
Call Plymouth Sparky who will gladly pat test your rental property in around the Plymouth Area.