Leaving previous owners lawn tools and PAT testing?

Leaving previous owners lawn tools and PAT testing?

9:25 AM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago 8

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My wife has just completed a house purchase which she is to let out.lawn tools

The previous owners or their relatives (owner has moved into a care home) have left a number of tools and other items in the shed including an electric lawn mower and strimmer. The lawn mower is in working order as I used that to cut the grass.

We are debating whether to leave the tools there for a tenant to use or whether we would be better off removing them and leaving the tenant to supply their own. I’m err’ing towards removing them because if they go wrong or break she’ll have an implied liability to repair or replace.

This also raises the question as to whether we would need to the lawn mower PAT tested. In fact should we also get any supplied white goods PAT tested such as washing machine, fridge etc?

For reference, we’ve had the electrics tested and the old fashioned fuse box replaced with a consumer unit.

It would be interesting to know what others think.



Neil Patterson View Profile

9:30 AM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

Hi Nick,

We have a previous article in which Mark confirms you do need to leave a lawnmower see >> http://www.property118.com/landlord-tenant-lawnmower-law/29089/

However I wouldn't leave any potentially dangerous equipment without knowing for sure what condition it is in.

Penniless Landlord

9:40 AM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

I've seen that article which is nearly 4 years old and in the comments the situation is less clear even from Mark himself.


My wife has 2 other let properties with gardens where no lawn mower has been supplied and never had any issues or requests from the tenants.

We have no reason to believe the equipment is dangerous; if we though it was then it would be removed without question.

Romain Garcin

11:16 AM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago


I don't think you have to provide any lawnmower or gardening tools. Otherwise why not a vacuum cleaner and all other cleaning tools?

However, any equipment you provide must be safe and be provided with a manual.
For dangerous equipments perhaps a documented test and visual inspection would also be a best practice.

Steve Masters

12:00 PM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

Why not gift the old lawnmower to your tenants, they can take it or leave it at the end of the tenancy but if it goes wrong it is their problem, not yours.

I had a friend who used this approach with small kitchen items eg, kettle and toaster and it worked well for them.

Stan Barlow TEE LTD

12:41 PM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

Our advice to all of our landlords is have any electrical equipment tested and a PAT certificate issued. The 1987 electricity at work act is very ambiguous and there are various contra suggestions from HSE, Insurers etc. My comment is if in Court are you going to win whereas is you use an accredited company their own insurance, governing body should afford a full protection. If in doubt contact someone like the NICEIC at Houghton Regis for advice. If you need and more advice please let me know and send me an email at stan@teeltd.co.uk


13:05 PM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

Refer to RLA's guidance notes on frequency of electrical inspections and tests:


To cover yourself, I would recommend that the lawnmower (as a portable plug-in device) should be PAT tested. At tenant changeover, I have done this at one of my properties where I supplied a cheap lawnmower.

Rob Crawford

13:16 PM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

Even if you gift it the item should be safe and so an initial PAT really applies in both cases. If provided as part of the rent a periodic PAT will be required and I would suggest at each change of tenancy and annually. Electric gardening tools of any nature are high risk items and for that reason I do not supply them. If you do, the latest regs also require that you have a socket with a PCB that should be tested as part of the fixed insulation electrical test and possibly again at the same time as you PAT.

Hazel de Kloe

19:48 PM, 24th March 2016, About 6 years ago

I personally don't like the idea of leaving tools and equipment of that nature in a let property, especially if they have come from someone else and you don't know how reliable they may be. The least you should do is have a PAT test done and remove the other tools...the less liability for the landlord, the better in my opinion!

As standard practice, for properties which have a garden, we ensure that there is a plug socket which is an RCD socket, specifically for the use of outdoor equipment such as electric lawnmowers, strimmers, etc, so that in case of accidental damage to the wire, the electrical supply is automatically switched off to that socket. The tenants are informed that this is the socket they should use for this purpose.

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