If you own a property that you let out to other people, either short-term or long-term, you need to ensure it is safe.
One of the ways you can keep your tenants safe is by checking any electrical equipment you provide them. This will not only reduce the risk of electric shocks, but also protect from electrical fires.
- What is PAT testing?
- Who can carry out PAT testing?
- Do I have to get PAT testing if I have a HMO?
- Do I have to get PAT testing if I rent out long-term accommodation?
- Do I have to get PAT testing if I rent out holiday homes?
- What if I live in Scotland?
- Is there anything else I need to have done?
What is PAT testing?
PAT testing (also known as electrical equipment testing) is when electrical equipment is checked to ensure it is safe for use.
It consists of a thorough visual inspection as well as testing the equipment for internal faults.
As a general rule, anything that plugs into the mains should be tested. Equipment in a home that should be checked includes:
- Washing machines
- Tumble dryers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Heated towel rails
- Extension leads
Despite the name, PAT testing covers portable equipment as well as larger appliances and equipment fixed to a surface or wall.
Who can carry out PAT testing?
PAT testing needs to be carried out by a ‘competent person’ in line with the IET’s code of practice.
This means it is something you can’t do yourself unless you have been trained.
Do I have to get PAT testing done if I have Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)?
If you let HMOs, you will need to have annual PAT tests to receive licensing from your local council.
You will need to submit your certificate of compliance to apply for your licence.
Do I have to get PAT testing done if I rent out long-term accommodation?
If you rent out long-term accommodation that is not an HMO, you do not have to get PAT testing done.
However, it can show your tenants that you are doing all you can to keep them safe.
Do I have to get PAT testing done if I rent out holiday homes?
You do not have to get PAT testing done if you let holiday homes, short-term rentals or holiday cottages but it can be a good way of showing your tenants you are keeping them safe.
You will get a certificate of compliance after the inspection you can show to current or prospective tenants.
What if I live in Scotland?
The rules above apply to England and Wales.
If you are in Scotland, testing in all long-term rental properties is a legal requirement under The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014.
This means you must have any electrical equipment that comes with the property PAT tested.
Is there anything else I need to have done?
If you are a landlord, it is a legal requirement to have any electrical installations (for example, light fittings, circuit breakers and sockets) tested through EICR.
This must be done every five years.
You also need to get fire risk assessments carried out to identify potential fire risks and improvements that need to be made to ensure tenants can safely leave the building in an emergency.
Looking for PAT testing for a rental home?
Whether you have a one home you let out or a rental portfolio, Hawkesworth can help.
We provide a thorough electrical equipment testing service across the country, and can carry out out-of-hours testing at no extra charge.
We can also help you with your EICR inspections, keeping both your equipment and electrical installations protected, for your peace of mind.