Is PAT Testing A Legal Requirement?

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  • Is PAT Testing A Legal Requirement?

WHAT IS PAT TESTING?

 P.A.T stands for Portable Appliance Testing. It is the name given to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure that they are safe to use. To find most electrical safety defects only a visual examination is necessary but some types of defects require testing.

 IS IT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT?

Many landlords are not aware that there are regulations to maintain free standing electrical devices in a safe condition. Namely, the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulation. However, the regulations do not state what needs to be done, by whom, or how frequently. They also do not make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually.

HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD I TEST MY ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES?

The frequency of the inspection and testing depends on the type of equipment and environment it is in. For example examinations on a power tool used on a construction site should be more frequent than a lamp used in a hotel bedroom. PAT testing in real terms for landlords will mainly relate to electrical appliances. We would suggest that it takes place at least every two years or alternatively when a tenant changes over.

We have previously written an article on Electrical Safety within the private rental sector, click here to read more.

DO I NEED PAT TESTING FOR NEW EQUIPMENT?

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection. Also, a simple visual check will verify that it is not damaged.

DO I NEED TO GET A QUALIFIED PERSON TO CARRY OUT A PAT TEST?

Yes, the person doing the test needs to be competent. They need to have enough knowledge and training on what to look out for on a visual inspection. They need to have the right equipment to do the tests. The ability to use the test equipment properly and the ability to understand the test result. Look for a qualified electrician to carry out a PAT test.

I HAVE A STUDENT PROPERTY HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO PAT TESTING?

We would suggest when it comes to students it depends on the size of the property and how often the equipment is used. In the instance of students for instance an 8 bedroom property may need to be PAT tested on a yearly basis whereby a 4 bed every two years.

UPDATE

The Ministry of Housing Communities have announced a new ruling on EICRs. They along with the Local Government have made it mandatory to complete electrical installation checks every five years. The new rules will roll out in stages throughout the UK.

They are yet to clarify when it will become law. The intention is for it to pass as soon as parliament allows. Letting agents and landlords will have at least six months to put in writing the legislation before it comes into force.

It looks as though a transitional period will apply for two years. In year one, all new private tenancies will be effected and in year two all existing tenancies will come within the scope.

Properties that have a valid EICR will not need to replace it until the five years have passed.

Agents must ensure that inspectors hired to issue EICRs hold the current qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. Tough financial penalties will apply where this isn’t complied with.

This is going to impact landlords almost immediately. It will be important in future that landlords are aware of their liabilities. It would be advisable to carry out the electrical reports in advance. We suspect that prices will go up dramatically over the next few months from electricians as they will see it as an opportunity. It is in the landlords interest to run timely EICRs and PAT tests.

SUMMARY

 You may be aware that the Deregulation Bill has made PAT testing compulsory for HMO landlords. Most landlords, though, aren’t aware that under Health and Safety rules they should carry out PAT testing at least every two years. For some student properties every year. If a tenant was to have a personal injury due to an electrical appliance then any Insurance Company would ask for the PAT test. Not having one could result in a claim rejection.

Update July 2022.

The law has still not changed in relation to portable appliance testing as it is not yet compulsory. However, landlords need to be very aware of the consequences in the event they don’t carry it out.

After Grenfell it was determined that the fire started due to a faulty fridge. In this instance the landlord had a PAT test and therefore wasn’t liable for the unfortunate deaths that took place.

However, it is accepted now under the health and safety executives that landlords are responsible in the event they haven’t had a PAT test and done nothing to ensure their appliances are safe. It isn’t compulsive law but it is good practise and we would always recommend it.

Update January 2023

The government have reiterated to landlords that PAT testing comes under the health and safety executive.

The electricity Act work regulations 1989 require any electrical equipment that has potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently.

The frequency of inspection and testing depends on the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For instance our understanding from our own electricians is that where you have residential property it should be every two years. Where you have student accommodation as there is more people it should be every year.

Whilst there is no legal requirement to label the equipment as inspected or tested there is however a requirement for you to be able to prove in the event there is an issue. A record can be useful as a management tool for monitoring this. If there was a fire at the property and electrical testing had not taken place or the testing had not been done for landlords then how can you show the equipment was safe? You need to show whether the equipment has been a pass or a fail in your rental property and if there was an issue you dealt with it immediately. There has been occasions where landlords have not done testing, appliances have burnt down and caused fire to properties. It is in the interest of the landlord to ensure that they can show when it was tested it was safe.

Do I need a test on new equipment?

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and does not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test.

When carrying out a test we always instruct an electrician. The person testing the equipment needs to be competent to do so. There needs to be an inspection and testing taken place and the right equipment has to be used in order to carry out these tests. The electrician needs the ability to use the test equipment properly and the ability to understand the test results. There may be again a pass or fail in relation to the equipment and this is very relevant to rental properties.

The legalisation has been updated and is covered in various areas.

This comes under the health and safety at work Act 1974, electricity at work regulations of 1989, provision and use of work equipment regulation 1998 and the management of health and safety at work regulations 1999.

The law requires all employers to maintain a portable appliances and ensure they are safe. This is done through testing an appliance and to safe guard against damage and to make these perform properly.

PAT testing law requires all landlords and employers to ensure that their PAT tests are safe and suitable and used for the purpose intended. These appliances should always be maintained properly and maintain in good working order.

The guidelines are designed to make certain that this equipment is kept protected and preserved through regular maintenance as well as inspections and periodic testing. Damage and fault can occur with all electrical equipment use. Makin it essential that these items are tested regularly for safety.

PAT testing.

PAT testing is done to ensure that all electrical equipment is classed as “portable” is deemed safe for use.

This PAT testing equipment is used to test portable appliances and ensure they meet the regulations. There are a number of PAT testing machines that can be used. These run from the most basic to the professional models.

This is why it is so important that you use a professional in order to carry this out. The alternative is to obtain your pat safety machine and ensure you deal with it.

PAT testing is a health and safety issue.

The health and safety executive estimates that more than 25% of all accidents relate to the use that involves a portable appliance. Portable appliances can include computers and monitors, printers, toasters, fridges, kettles and typically anything else used in every day tasks.

By carrying out PAT testing it allows you to confirm to the health and safety executive that  you comply with all regulations.. You protect yourself as well as tenants from electrical injuries. The health and safety executive have PAT testing guidelines to help you reduce your risk of injury or fire from portable appliances. This needs to ensure you are compliant with RSO 9000/1 as well as BS5750. These guidelines help satisfy the requirements that may be set by insurance companies as well.

Did you know that if you didn’t have a portable appliance test and your appliance does cause a fire your insurance can refuse to pay out. Why not speak to our sister company iInsure 365 regarding a quote by clicking here. Or you can call them direct on 01273 827090 or enquiries@iinsure365.co.uk

If you want a free 30 minute consultation to make sure your property is compliant please don’t hesitate to contact.

Want a free valuation on your property? Why not contact us on 01273 724000 to book this.

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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