University of Leicester

0116 223 1173

De Montfort University

0116 257 6303

It’s essential to have some downtime from study and watching some television will definitely help. Knowing whether you are doing this legally though is pretty important.

Check out the key facts below to make sure you’re on the right side of the law!

Do you need a licence?

If you live in halls of residence and use a device to watch TV in your own room at the same time as they are being shown on TV or downloaded from BBC iplayer, 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 live TV / BBC iplayer 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 live TV / BBC iplayer 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 of this).

Enforcement

It is against the law to watch live television or any programme on BBC iplayer without having a licence and this law is strongly enforced with specific officers having the power to call at your property if they suspect you are watching without a licence.

If they have evidence, they have the power to summon you to the Magistrate’s court. A Magistrate’s court can impose a fine of up to £1000 and a conviction which will be on your criminal record, potentially affecting your ability to enter certain professions.

It is definitely not worth the risk of prosecution and definitely worth buying a licence to ensure you’re staying within the law and not waiting for that knock on the door!

Refund for the summer

If you are going home for the summer but your licence will cover you for longer than you need it, you can request a refund for your TV Licence. You can claim a refund if you have at least one complete month left on it. You may need to provide evidence that supports your request. The dates on the evidence must reflect the time you’re requesting the refund for.

It is likely TV licensing will ask to see your tenancy agreement showing the name of the tenant(s), name and address of the landlord or the letting agent, and the address of the property you are moving from. It should also show the start and end dates or termination clause of the tenancy.

Know the facts on TV Licensing and you can enjoy your favourite boxset with peace of mind!