As an aspiring landlord, you want to ensure your rental property is safe for its occupants. After all, you’re responsible for their safety while they’re living on your property. A good way to make them feel safe is to have the electrical appliances in your property PAT tested.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a test that involves routine physical inspection of electrical appliances for safety. The process is particularly crucial in rental properties because it ensures that the electrical equipment the landlord provides to the tenants is safe to use.
If you plan to lease your property in the UK, continue reading about why PAT is crucial to rental property safety in the country.
1. Complies To The Law
PAT testing—yes, it’s redundant, but it’s how it’s often referred to—occurs when an electrical expert who has passed a portable appliance testing course checks each appliance for defects that may cause an electrical fault. Mainly, they inspect your electrical appliances for loose connections, faulty wiring, or anything that may put anyone in danger.
In the US, PAT isn’t mandatory, but some states and organizations recommend including it as a best practice in business operations. However, unlike the US, the UK is stringent when it comes to this test. And in there, most companies are mandated to have their electrical appliances checked every now and then.
While no explicit requirement is compelling landlords and property owners to conduct regular PAT testing in the UK, other acts mandate the tests. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 are among these regulations. These laws are enforced by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
2. Reduces Risk Of Fire Outbreaks
In the UK, landlords and property owners who list their apartments as furnished must provide tenants with basic household appliances like cookers, fridges, washing machines, et cetera. According to data from various sources, these household electric appliances are the common culprits when it comes to house fires.
Regular PAT inspections on these appliances can reduce the risk of a fire outbreak. And by regularly testing, landlords and property owners may find it easier to detect faults and take the necessary steps to avoid electrical fires.
3. Prevents Unnecessary Repairs
Periodic testing helps landlords to save money on repairs or replacements as they can detect faults earlier and institute the appropriate maintenance procedures. Doing so prevents minor issues from escalating into major and costly problems.
By default, a PAT inspection should be done once every year for handheld and Class 1 equipment (e.g., drills, printers, and computers). Meanwhile, tests for Class 2 equipment (e.g., extension cords and power strips) should be conducted once every two years.
Of course, PAT costs money, and because of it, some landlords may delay testing their electrical appliances and equipment. However, know that if any equipment fails a PAT test, it will be quarantined and can’t be used on that propertyuntil it’s repaired. However, the repair costs can be covered by your insurer. So, PAT can actually save you money.
4. Helps With Insurance Claims
Passing PATs demonstrates a business’ compliance with safety processes, which may lead insurers to offer lower rental property coverage premiums. Always remember insurance providers operate around risks. The lower the risk your business practices have, the lower the chance they may have to pay for anything they’ve promised you. In turn, they’ll ask for less money.
Also, if an accident does happen, know that your insurance will check if the appliances involved passed PAT. If they didn’t get inspected or passed, your insurer may refuse to pay your claim. So, don’t forget to follow the recommended inspection schedule to lower the risk of your insurance claims being denied.
5. Ensures Tenant Satisfaction And Safety
If all the electrical appliances they use passed PAT inspections, tenants can rest assured they’re living in a safe environment and the rent they’re paying is worth it. Also, if an accident does happen, affected tenants can’t blame the landlord and the appliances as they have proof that all have undergone PAT.
And while your tenants’ view of you or their satisfaction won’t exactly earn you extra money, it’s nice to know that your tenants will appreciate that you’re taking steps to ensure their safety. This can lead to a more positive rental experience for everyone involved.
PAT is essential to ensure the safety of rental properties in the UK. It helps identify potential electrical hazards in appliances and prompts landlords to deal with them before it’s too late.
By carrying out regular PAT inspections, landlords and property managers can protect their tenants and their legal and financial interests. Therefore, it’s crucial to include frequent testing of your appliances as part of your responsibilities.