It is the legal duty of a landlord to ensure that all electrical equipment on their premises is safe and regularly maintained during the entire time that a tenant is putting up there.
Just like every other item, electrical appliances and installations tend to get old, worn out over time and as such, they pose a clear and present danger to those residing there.
As a landlord, you risk a hefty fine, jail term, or both, if you don’t do your part. Besides, your insurance policies become jeopardized the moment you neglect your roles and duties in terms of ensuring the safety of your tenants and property.
Landlord electrical certificates are the only way to show and demonstrate that the premises have been checked and found to be fit and safe for accommodation.
Landlord electrical certificates are an important part of ensuring the safety of your tenants and being able to prove that you have taken reasonable steps to do so.
It is recommended that you should have a full electrical inspection done every three to five years dependent on the previous inspection.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
- PAT is meant to ensure that all mobile or movable electrical appliances are safe and in good condition. They include appliances like electric kettles, fridges, washing machines, TV, and so on so forth. Getting all these items PAT tested is the first step towards ensuring that the property is safe for accommodation.
- Although you are not legally obliged to conduct a PAT test, it goes without saying that you, as a landlord have an obligation to keep the tenant safe at all times; thus regular checks are very recommendable. However, if the property has multiple occupancy units, you will be obliged to carry out PAT test every now and then.
- The need for testing some appliances will depend on their risk factor, as some appliances have a higher risk of electrical failures than others. For instance, a toaster or water heater is more likely to get damaged than say a washing machine or TV set.
- Landlords who own premises with multiple occupancy units are legally obliged to carry out PAT test regularly. All appliances on that property have to be tested and certified to pass a PAT test.
- It is very important that all landlords get a periodic inspection and check of all their electrical appliances and installations. This is done through what’s known as an electric installation report(EICR)
- EICR must always be done by a qualified and certified electrician who is able to check the installations and wiring for any signs of tear, wear or any other damage that’s not visible to the naked eye. This inspection ought to be done after every 5 years especially if there are multiple rental units in the same property.
- In case of an accident or fire incident in your premises, you risk being charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence, or a hefty fine; an EICR report would be your best defense in a court of law.