As a landlord, you have the responsibility of ensuring the homes or offices you rent out are safe for your tenants and comply with all health and safety standards.
This means that landlords must ensure the electrical installation is safe before tenants move in. This includes demonstrating that all electrical equipment, such as kettles, toasters and washing machines have CE marking.
PAT testing is not a legal requirement for portable electrical equipment, but it is advisable for rented properties as it ensures that everything has been tested and shown to be safe.
Although having an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or Electrical Safety Inspection Certificate is not a legal requirement for single-occupancy properties, obtaining one is the easiest means of guaranteeing that the electrics are safe for tenants at the beginning and during their tenancy.
However, for a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO), an EICR is a legal requirement with additional checks every five years.
An EICR test checks for any deterioration in the electrics and ensures the quality of the electrical installation coincides with BS7671 requirements. The test can identify any circuitry issues, any risks of electric shocks or fire hazards, as well as any problems with bonding or earthing of the installation and any faulty electric work which could result in injury.
To carry out the test the engineer will have to disconnect the electric supply. Depending on the size of the property the EICR test can take a few hours to a couple of weeks to complete but to limit disruption this can be carried out in stages.