Electrical safety, I'm so confused

I was under the impression that from the 1st July 2020, you needed to have a PAT certificate to be legally compliant in rental properties and so I got one. Openrent now keep bombarding me with emails saying it is an annual requirement and I need another. However, the internet seems to suggest PAT testing has been only a suggestion and not mandatory all along, and it is actually an EHIC that I need legally. An electrician gave me a blue form when I was renovating the house 2 years ago which I’m still trying to dig out, but the .gov site says it needs to have tested appliances too, of which there were none at the time as the house was an empty shell. So my question is, what exactly do I need, and how often do I need it? Thanks in advance for any help, Sarah.

You need a EICR ( electrical inspection condition report) every 5 years ( that is at the discretion of the electrician but do not accept at change of tenancy . It may be more frequent if the installation is old. For new tenancies this was June 2020 to be applied from 1 July 2020. For existing tenancies it was 1 April 2021.

PAT testing is mandatory yearly on appliances the Landlord provides in an HMO and a only recommendation in another tenancy. I do it annually on all our houses as at least one item is thrown out by the electrician !
Universities are mandating all student test their own appliances to prevent another Grenfell so you may want to consider asking your tenants to PAT test their own appliances if they are really old

Many thanks. What do you mean by, “it is at the discretion of the electrician”? Also, I’m thinking Openrent shouldn’t be telling me a PAT test is mandatory, a bit naughty. It’s not student or HMO.

The law advises every five years but the way it has been worded leaves it open to interpretation. NICEIC were told to rewrite their advice as they made it more ambiguous. This should have been rectified.
Some electricians suggest at change of tenancy . This is not necessary and not what the legislation suggests.
It’s five years but if it’s old electricians may say three or even a year.
My electrician does 5 but if the rewire is old he will give me three ( we have done this for thirty years and used him for 10 and I take his advice )

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I have read that Openrent insist on PAT testing, but its not legally mandatory.

They do not “insist” as they do not ask for any proof it has been done. So as it is currently not legally enforced, simply make your own mind up accordingly.

Thanks a lot everyone

When you use Open Rent for a new tenancy in order to proceed with the contract being issued you have to tick the box saying PAT testing has been done . If you tick it without PAT testing being done and someone got electrocuted it could herald serious consequences . For the money it costs ( tax deductible too) its far better to get it done and sleep peacefully in your bed.