Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) for Landlords
PAT – Portable Appliance Test – A landlord’s responsibilities
Landlords are required to ensure that all electrical appliances supplied as part of a tenancy (i.e. within a property let to tenants) are safe for use. To comply with these requirements appliances should be tested annually by a suitably qualified person.
The term “portable” is applicable to washing machines and fridges as well as lamps, heaters, irons and even adaptor plugs (although the portability of a large fridge freezer is questionable).
A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) is an essential element of any health and safety policy. Faulty electrical appliances kill hundreds of people through electrocution and fire, so ensuring an electrical appliance is safe is a necessity.
Items purchased new and under one year old do not need to be tested.
What does a Portable Appliance Test involve?
- A visual inspection check for: – frayed wires, that the casing around the appliance is not compromised, that plugs are not cracked or damaged, correct wiring
- A check that the item is suitably earth bonded. i.e. that electrical current picked up will be discharged
- Insulation resistance: – i.e. that the insulation / insulating material between two conductors is doing its job (preventing two alternating currents meeting – shorting)
Who can do a PAT?
Any competent person with a suitable qualification and the right tools can work as a PAT Tester. It does not need to be a qualified or even certified electrician.
A number of organisations offer PAT Tester training courses and qualifications
What will the tester provide?
Upon completion of the Portable Appliance Testing a report that details, as a minimum, the following, should be supplied:
- An inventory itemising each appliance type, name, location and description
- A full set of test results for each appliance tested
- A full list of any failed items with an explanation for their failure
- A visible pass or fail label attached to each appliance detailing the inspection date, next test due and the inspector’s signature.
What if an appliance fails?
If an appliance fails it should not be left for a tenant to use. It should be removed or repaired.
Usually the most cost effective solution is to dispose of or replace the item.