Published on February 2nd, 20120
A Students Guide to TV License’s
Student Guide to TV Licensing
TV Licensing, students and the law
When do I need a TV Licence?
A licence is needed if you are watching or recording television programmes at the same time as they are being shown on TV. This is true no matter what device you’re watching on (including TV sets, laptops, mobile phones) and no matter how you’re receiving the programmes (including terrestrial, satellite, cable or digital television channels). Anyone without a valid TV Licence who watches or records television programmes as described above risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
- 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.
- 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).
- A device powered by its own internal batteries – a pocket sized TV or a mobile phone for example – may be covered by a licence at your parents’ address. However, you must not plug it into the mains when using it to receive television. If there is no TV Licence at your parents’ address, you will need to obtain one to watch TV.
Aren’t I covered by my parents’ TV Licence?
Your parents’ TV Licence will not cover you away from home in most cases, except in the following rare and limited circumstances:
- You only use a TV/ other device that is powered by its internal batteries; and
- You have not connected it to an aerial, or plugged it into the mains, to receive TV; and
- Your permanent address (non term-time) is your parents’ home; and
- Your parents have a valid TV Licence for their home.
If you do not satisfy all of these requirements, you will need to buy your own TV Licence for your student accommodation. To check whether this exception applies to you, please contact TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090.
How will anyone know if I don’t have a TV Licence?
TV Licensing’s database lists addresses that don’t have a TV Licence, including university accommodation. TV Licensing officers regularly visit universities and will be doing so over the next few months, with the consent and co-operation of university authorities. If you use television-receiving equipment without a valid TV Licence, you risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, plus court costs, and you will need to buy a TV Licence if you still need one.
How much does a TV Licence cost?
A colour TV Licence currently costs £145.50, and a black and white licence is £49. They will remain at these rates for the next few years as the TV Licence fee has been frozen until 2017.
TV Licensing refund for students:
If you are moving back home for the summer from university and no longer need a TV Licence over the holidays, and there are three full calendar months before your licence expires, you are entitled to a refund for the unused, quarter of your licence.
You will need to ensure you buy a licence early on, by the end of September/ early October, in order to allow enough time at the end of the academic year to qualify for a refund. The refund on a TV Licence bought after April 2010 will be around £37.
If you wish to arrange a refund or would like further information, simply click on the following link: TV Licensing for Students or call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090.