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When will I need a TV Licence?

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If you’re planning on taking a TV to uni this year (or maybe even if you’re not – see below) there’s an extra cost that you’re going to have to remember to factor in.

A TV Licence is needed if you’re watching or recording television programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV, and it’s important that you don’t let it slip your mind – because, scarily, you could end up with a £1,000 bill if you don’t comply.

So you’re going to need a licence no matter what device you’re watching on (TV, laptop, phone, etc) and no matter how you’re receiving the programmes - including terrestrial, satellite, cable or digital television channels or via the internet.

So, here are the facts:

If you live in halls of residence and use a device to watch/record TV in your own room, you need your own separate TV Licence - it’s the law

You also need your own licence if you are sharing a house with other students and use a device to watch/record TV in your room, and your room is a separately occupied place (a separate tenancy agreement would normally indicate that this is the case).

If you have a separate tenancy agreement but a television is only being used in a communal area, then only one licence is required.

If you are sharing a house with other students and you use a device to watch/record TV in your own room, but the house can be treated as one place shared by all, then only one TV Licence is required (a joint tenancy agreement would usually be evidence that the house is a single licensable place for this purpose).

In the majority of cases, your parents’ TV Licence will not cover you. You would only be covered by your parent’s licence if your out-of-term address has a licence AND you only use TV receiving equipment that is powered solely by its own internal batteries AND you have not connected it to an aerial or plugged it into the mains.

If we’re on the same page by now, being a grand down because you didn’t buy a TV Licence is not something that’s advisable at the beginning of the university year. Sort it here

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