The difference between lawnmowers and toasters?

by Readers Question

10:40 AM, 31st October 2016
About 2 years ago

The difference between lawnmowers and toasters?

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The difference between lawnmowers and toasters?

I have been advised not to supply any gardening equipment, including lawmowers, on health and safety grounds. toaster

We would be liable if the tenants hurt themselves on equipment we have supplied. Does everyone think this is correct? But what about cookers, kettles, toasters etc.

If those health and safety grounds apply, shouldn’t kitchen equipment also be banned? The tenant could burn themselves?

Jennifer



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:44 AM, 31st October 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

To help we had an article Lawnmowers – do landlords have to provide them?

Please see >> https://www.property118.com/landlord-tenant-lawnmower-law/29089/

Rob Crawford

17:31 PM, 31st October 2016
About 2 years ago

So Jennifer, you would by now have read the thread provided by Neil and are probably no further forward in your question! There is no legislation that requires you to provide a lawn mower, however, if your tenants are of limited means or if you feel the garden will not be maintained without you supplying one then you may wish to do so. A lawnmower is probably one of the higher H&S risk items that could be supplied by a landlord. If you do supply one; make sure you provide and get a signature for the mowers user manual, make sure they commit to operating the mower iaw the manual, make sure it is PAT (a mower would be considered a high risk item and would need PAT more regularly than your fridge freezer etc), ensure you maintain the mower iaw the user manual or delegate this to the tenant in writing (is this a fair term for landlord supplied equipment??), unless your consumer box is RCB's you will need to provide an RCB plug (this will also need testing when you do the PAT). As you can see supplying a lawnmower opens up a whole bag of worms! So what is the solution? My recommendation is to employ a gardener to mow the lawns twice a month during the period between April and November. A local gardener would not be expensive for a small lawn. You can then sleep in peace!

Joel Hearne

18:30 PM, 31st October 2016
About 2 years ago

You could also just give them the money to buy the lawnmower and say the lawnmower was not provided by you and belongs to the tenant. I believe that is another way around the PAT testing of equipment, just give a cash payment and let them buy the items themselves

Graham Bowcock

21:45 PM, 31st October 2016
About 2 years ago

Dear Jennifer

There are no hard and fast health and safety rules but you are obliged to make sure that any item you provide is safe and fit for purpose. The only way you can do this is by providing PAT certificates and making sure that you provide instruction books (we now photocopy them so we always have a copy and make a note on the inventory that they have been provided.

Imagine hiring a car without an MOT or road tax - you wouldn't would you? So why let a house without the paperwork?

We provide as little equipment as possible, but that may be due to the market we operate in. We would certainly never provide kettles or toasters - they are so cheap I'd hope our tenants could afford their own. There is also the issue that if they fail you have to provide a new one - and nobody wants to be without a kettle for very long.

We do usually provide kitchen white goods - i.e. fridge, washer/dryer and cooker. In many kitchens they are actually built in. The downside is that when they fail it is increasingly difficult to get them mended and often cheaper to buy new ones. My wife has an account with AO and their service is second to none (one day they will wonder why we use so many fridges!).

As for lawnmowers I was always ambivalent until a post on Property 118 about expecting tenants to mow lawns and the comment made was - if you want them to mow the lawn, give them a lawnmower. Good point.

We always get the main electric installations checked every five years or on change of tenancy.

I think that people are terrified of health and safety to the point it stops them doing things. I have always found that good paperwork and a decent attitude to the quality of what we provide has served me well for the last thirty years. Luckily my tenants are not as daft as other people's!

Don't get too hung up on things, H and S starts with common sense.

Graham

Anthony Endsor

6:42 AM, 1st November 2016
About 2 years ago

If you let a property unfurnished, there is no legal obligation to provide anything other than the basic fixtures and fittings of the property. However, if you do choose to provide things, they MUST be tested every year, and in any case an annual gas safety check is a legal obligation whether or NOT the goods have been supplied by you.
Many landlords choose to provide cookers or some sort of equipment, but it is indeed your responsibility to ensure that what you provide is safe and fit for purpose.

sue walker

11:24 AM, 1st November 2016
About 2 years ago

I read your comment about supplying a gardener with interest. We arranged with our tenants that the rent they paid would cover the services of a gardener to do the mowing, hedge cutting, weeding etc.The tenants are foreign and travel a lot so they were appreciative of this. We claimed for this on our tax return. HMRC have come back to say that tenants should do their own gardening.

Steve From Leicester

12:31 PM, 1st November 2016
About 2 years ago

Lots said on this subject, in my opinion absolutely the best was the line from Graham Bowcock who said "Don't get too hung up on things, H&S starts with common sense".

You have a duty of care to your tenants and have to show due diligence, but you are not their mother, carer or nursemaid.

Provide them with a new mower from a reputable manufacturer and give them the instruction manual.

Contrary to what some people might have you believe, if a tenant tries to use the mower to trim his beard you won't be prosecuted for failing to tell him not to apply the mower to any part of his face.

Paul Franklin

14:55 PM, 1st November 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "31/10/2016 - 17:31":

Just a note Rob as you mention PAT testing with fridge/freezers - I have been informed that PAT testing is not required on fridges and similar bulky items because they are not 'portable' and so don't come under the 'portable appliance test' regs. Having said that I've not looked it up in more detail, so I could be wrong.

Rob Crawford

20:14 PM, 1st November 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Paul, you have been informed incorrectly. If white goods are integrated (fitted) then they are not movable or portable. However, if free standing they are movable and so should be PAT. I am a qualified C&G's PAT.

Paul Franklin

9:43 AM, 2nd November 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "01/11/2016 - 20:14":

Ok, thanks Rob - good to know! Thanks.

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