In relation to portable electrical appliances, there is no legal obligation in the case of rented residential accommodation to carry out a portable appliance test (PAT test). The Government have recently confirmed that this is the case. It is left to landlord’s discretion. The exception to this would be where you have an employee working or living in rented accommodation (e.g. in a care home type situation). However, the Electrical Safety Council’s Guidance recommends portable appliance testing to satisfy the obligation to ensure that any portable electrical appliances which the landlord provides under the tenancy are safe at the point of letting, and at periodic intervals after that.
The Guidance recommends that when providing portable appliances for tenants, the landlord should check that every appliance has a CE mark. It also recommends that you should only provide appliances with additional safety marks e.g. the British Standard Guidance mark or the BEAB approved mark.
Tenants should be provided with instruction manuals and be told to read and follow them.
If you do not undertake PAT tests, the Guidance recommends that portable electrical appliances should be checked by the landlord before letting the property to ensure that there are no cuts/abrasions to the cable, the plug is satisfactory, there are no loose parts or screws, that there are no signs of burning and there is no damage. You are recommended to regularly check them after that.
There is detailed guidance regarding the frequency of carrying out PAT testing. PAT testing must only be carried out by a qualified person. Examples of the recommended periods are as follows: