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Fixed wiring & PAT testing, really?


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Hi, my agent is insisting I need both but I didn't think it was a legal requirement. House is 25 years old, not previously rented and with basic new white goods. I know its the Landlords responsibility to ensure the wiring etc is sound, which it is, but I'm reluctant to part with £120+ for a box ticking exercise to boost agent revenue. Is certification necessary?

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Its not a legal requirement to have an electricall safety certificate or PAT testing unless you have an HMO however, landlords do have a responsibility to ensure their electrical installations and any electrical goods supplied to the tenant are safe.


1. If you don't have the tests carried out you might struggle to prove that you met your obligations should anything go wrong.

2. Your agent is probably asking you to have them carried out because they don't want to deal with your property unless you can prove to them that the electrics are safe. Many agent insist on it......yours are not unique.

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I've no idea, I'm not asking for the checks, your agents are so, I suggest you show it to them.

There is certainly no need to have their electrician carry out the work.....any qualified person can do it.

If you can't agree a way forward, there are other agents of course.

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As mentioned it isn't a legal requirement but could be a requirement/company policy of the letting agent and wouldn't be unusual. Some agents will recommend their favourite sparky and get a kick back from them.

But as a agent myself I advise all new landlords to get a certificate at least once when you first start renting out the property. It gives you and any tenant peace of mind. Also as many tenants like to think themselves experts and start spouting "this is dangerous and illegal" and then try to get unnecessary works done at the landlords expense.

There is also the possibility that there may be a issue that needs to be addressed.

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On that basis an invoice from my regular qualified electrician will be evidence of me meeting my obligations?

Not an invoice but a certificate of installation meeting the electrical safety requirement as laid down.

If you have an older property then it would be wise to have this Certificate in place as some insurance companies insist on it and failure to comply will lead to problems in the event of any claim.

Note though it is not necessary to have the latest electrical consumer unit provided your older one is fully serviceable.

Most electricians are looking for the latest earthing wiring installations which is necessary so be prepared for this upgrade if it is picked up.

Normal electrical inspection and reports with the issue of a certificate cost around £80 to £100 and are currently valid for 10 years but it is likely to drop to 5 years very soon.

It is not mandatory to have an electrical inspection every time a tenant moves out unless you feel you have cause to do so.

PAT testing needs a different register of items tested and certified.

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Landlords can do themselves a favour by carrying out a few basic/simple checks during voids/ in between tenancies or at specific times eg annually.

None of these require any particular skills:-

* check all 13 amp sockets with a plug in tester (buy them anywhere....cost very little).

* check all sockets and switches are not cracked......replace if they are.

* check switches/ sockets operate properly.

* check cables, 13amp plugs and fuses on all portable appliances supplied.

* check any RCD test buttons work.

* check all cables are away from hot water pipes and other heat sources.

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