Gas Safety Regulations put strict requirements on Landlords to ensure that the boiler and gas systems in rental properties are safe and well maintained on an annual basis. However, there is not the same level of requirement on Landlords to ensure that the electrics in a property are adequate and PAT testing is not a compulsory requirement unlike Gas Safety Inspections.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 provides that an electrical installation in a property is “Safe when a tenancy begins” and “Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy”. The Act also imposes a duty of care on Landlords to ensure that their tenants are safe and that the property is maintained to a safe standard. Many Landlords overlook the need for an electrical safety test with many forgetting that appliances such as a fridge freezer, washing machine or microwave could just as easily cause a fire putting the tenant’s life at risk.
According to research by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) electricity kills at least one person every week in the home and almost 1000 are seriously injured every day. 20,000 fires a year are caused by faulty electrics. These are startling figures and we at Harringtons Lettings are advising our Landlords that it best to obtain an electrical safety certificate even through it is not compulsory for them to do so.
The above rules are slightly different for Houses of Multiple Occupation where a Landlord is required to obtain a landlord licence from the local authority. In Brighton & Hove one of the pre-conditions for obtaining a licence is that the Landlord must provide to the Council an inspection report carried out by a competent electrical engineer (preferably N.I.C.E.I.C or E.C.A) to show that the installation is safe and satisfactory and has been obtained within the last 5 years or as recommended by the engineer. The duty of care therefore imposed on Landlords of HMO’s is far higher than that of other Landlords.
PAT tests are very straight forward and are recommended to be carried out at least once every 5 years or on change over of tenants.
Harringtons Lettings have contractors on standby that can carry out a PAT Test and we would therefore be happy to help you meet the above requirements. Prices of PAT Tests will vary depending on how many appliances are provided with the property and what type of heating system is installed. Please feel free to call us on 01273 749169 if you have any questions