As you’ll know if you’ve been in the business for a while, portable appliance testing (PAT tests) is something that is all a part of being a landlord. Getting white goods and appliances like washing machines or kettles tested for electrical safety is vital, but what many landlords don’t know is that the tests expire after a period of time. If you think you might be affected then read on!
PAT testing doesn’t last forever and the processes that electrical appliances go through do cause their parts to wear and degrade. An appliance that was once PAT tested and considered safe might degrade over its life and start becoming unsafe. The test does account for this, of course, and each item is given an ‘expiry’ date, usually stamped on the PAT label. After this date you need a retest – accidents which happen from electrical equipment that is not PAT tested will usually not be covered under your landlord insurance.
Getting the test done
There are plenty of options when it comes to getting appliances PAT tested; you can use large electrical companies or a smaller, local electrician. Whoever you use, make sure they have the appropriate training and licensing and never be afraid to ask for a reference if you’re unsure. The test itself shouldn’t take too long and is normally a simple case of pass or fail. Equipment which does fail may have to be discarded and replaced.
It’s prudent to keep a good log of the appliances you are providing to your tenants and when they were tested. Keep a record of the expiry dates electronically and you know you’ll never be caught out. Equally, ask your tenants to be vigilant and if there is anything that is out of date then request that they contact you and don’t use the appliance until it’s retested. Electrical safety is paramount for a landlord, so don’t get caught out.