Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Withdrawing Implied Rights of Access - A Tutorial

Regular readers will know already that when TV Licensing call on a property they have no more visiting rights than the milkman or window cleaner. 

In fact, it is even possible to extinguish their negligible visiting rights by telling them you have withdrawn their implied right of access to your property.

TV Licensing officials are not always candid about their lack of authority. We know of many examples where their doorstep salesmen have threatened to fetch the law or return with a search warrant. What they actually do in these cases is skulk around the corner, jump into their clapped out Cortina and start blubbing that they lost their commission on that one.

It is important to note that an organisation as bumptious and arrogant as the BBC, that think they make the law, do not appreciate people asserting their lawful rights against the unwarranted attentions of TV Licensing. Anyone choosing to withdraw the implied right of access to their property is warned that it might serve to heighten TV Licensing's interest. By making it more difficult for TV Licensing to access the property voluntarily, they are increasing the probability of TV Licensing obtaining a search warrant later on.

Most people who withdraw TV Licensing's implied right of access are at their wits end, having endured years of accusatory letters, doorstep cold callers and telephone enquiries about their licence-free status.

Thanks to an emailed contribution by one of my readers, I guide you through the process of withdrawing TV Licensing's access rights.

Firstly, you write them a letter explaining that you are the legal occupier of such and such an address. You have suffered years worth of their harassment despite living a perfectly lawful TV-free existence. You resent the fact that TV Licensing coerce you into proving your innocence, despite them having no evidence whatsoever of your guilt. You also tell them that any visits to your property after the date of your instruction will constitute harassment and trespass, which you will not hesitate to seek legal redress for through the courts. Here is the letter that my contributor sent to TV Licensing:

Secondly, you await their response. This being TV Licensing, operating on behalf of a legally arrogant and bumptious organisation like the BBC, they will undoubtedly attempt to bullshit you into providing your name. You should never do that. Your instruction is equally valid without providing a name. If you give your name you are providing them with information they are not legally entitled to - information they will use against you later on. Do not tell them your name. Here are two examples of their response letter:

Thirdly, sit back and enjoy the TV-free comfort of your home without the worry of TV Licensing doorstep harassment. Because they churn out their shitty letters at such an alarming rate, there will probably be a couple in the system. Hopefully you'll get some respite from the letters too once your instruction has been drip fed to the pariahs sending them out.

If you've chosen to live in TV-free harmony then you are entitled to enjoy the comfort of your home without the harassment of TV Licensing. Tell the bastards nothing and you've nothing to fear.

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Edit: Further detailed information about the BBC's WOIRA policy can now be found in this post. You can download a template WOIRA letter from our Resources page.


33_hertz said...

Thumbs up!!

Ron Tocknell said...

Actually, to refer to the TVLA door-to-door lackeys as "enforcement officers" is a misrepresentation of professional status. The only people who can hold the title of "enforcement officer" are police officers. The TVLA lackeys have no enforcement powers whatsoever.

admin said...

"Enforcement Officers" is a term TV Licensing like to use to reinforce their exterior air of officialness.

To me they're pondlife.

Lower than pondlife.

Ron Tocknell said...

It may well be a term that TVLA like to use... I might like to start calling myself an "enforcement officer" in order to impose my interests on others. But I rather suspect that I would be on legally thin ice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who have done their research regarding this xxx

Anonymous said...

Dear All

To get rid of the TVL visits for good do the following:

1. go to their website and register Your address as no tv [no watching or watching recorded ONLY] WITHOUT giving them name i.e. in name put "The Legal Occupier"

2. send them a letter:

//---Beginning of Letter

Ponizej wzor pisma do TVL zakazujacego im dalszych wizyt.
TVL [TV Licensing] pobierajace licencje za TV nie ma zadnych praw a w ich czerwonych listach jest stek klamstw - oni nie maja prawa wejsc do domu ani tym bardziej dokonac przeszukania tegoz.

//---- Wzor Pisma

The Legal Occupier
[Address here]

To whom it may concern,

I do not require a television licence, as I do not receive or record live television broadcasts. Despite this, I have received multiple letters from your organization implying that I am committing a criminal offence.
Your employees, and agents acting on your behalf, may not call at my address.
This letter provides you with prior written warning that such a visit will constitute trespass and harassment, and that I am withdrawing the implied right of access to my property from your organization.
Please note that I am under no obligation to provide you with any of my details, including my name, and that since I am the legal occupier of this property I am entitled to withdraw your implied right of access.*)
This fact was confirmed by the BBC in June 2009 in response to FOI request RFI20090807. This response states that "TV Licensing does not legally require the name of an individual to action such a request".

Yours sincerely,

The Legal Occupier.

*) http://www.televisionlicence.info/downl ... 090807.pdf

//--- End Of Letter

to the following address:
TV Licensing
Freepost 6689

BTW Stamp NOT needed!!!

3. they will acknowledge Your decision - enjoy!

admin said...

Thanks for your last comment Anon.

I must say that your Polish is much better than ours!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! I haven't ever had a TV in my home, and am so tired of the rude and threatening letters. I'm going to send anon's suggested one and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

I for one will be sending a letter to these yokels at bbc/tvl, thanks guys I knew the basics but lacked a template.. however I do watch tv (not or rarely bbc funded) and am tired of all the taxes those in 'power' lay down to keep the poor people poor. It is not their right to harass us theyre meant to be serving the people. Keep up the good work and liberate the masses!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

I do not watch tv, live or otherwise. I am unlicensed. The tv licence people still call out. I sent the letter to withdraw the implied right of access. Makes no difference. Hoping one of you guys can give me some advice. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Try emailing tony.hall@bbc.co.uk with complaints / WOIRA.

Bill said...

How about you just pay for the licence, that way you won't get 'harassed" by anyone. If you have no TV or you don't receive live TV broadcasts then tell them that. If you do and you then lie about it to avoid paying then you deserve all the harassment you get. Life's not one big free ride at the expense of the taxpayer.

admin said...

Totally agree Bill that anyone who needs a licence should buy one. That has been our standpoint from the outset and we have made that quite clear.

Sadly, and apparently unbeknown to you, a lot of people who genuinely don't need a TV licence and have told TV Licensing of that fact are still harassed.

Even those who go to the trouble of proving their no TV status (not that anyone is legally obliged to, or should have to prove their innocence) can expect the harassment to resume within the space of a year or so. Do you think that is reasonable? I suppose you could use the argument "nothing to hide, nothing to fear", but if we go down that route where will it stop? Should I let the police into my home to prove I am not cultivating cannabis plants, even though they have no evidence whatsoever to say that I am? Should the police periodically visit people's vehicles parked on their private driveways to randomly check their car has the right depth of tyre tread?

I am guessing you may have arrived here from Google, so probably haven't read any more of our posts. If you did you'd find examples of TV Licensing employees lying, hitting people and threatening people - but hey, they deserve it, because they didn't buy a TV licence they had no legal need for. That seems to be your logic.

Some apologists might be happy to devolve their civil liberties, but I think they are worth protecting.

That's the top and bottom of the situation, but we totally agree that those consuming "live" TV programmes should comply with the law as it stands.

Anonymous said...

Well said admin...(last comment)looks like the other guy Bill is happy being a sheep.....

Anonymous said...

What if I have a tv and I block the signal to bbc? I understand that it is not enough to just not watch bbc.

admin said...

You understand correctly.

A TV licence is needed regardless of the channel you are watching.

Not sure how you would block only BBC programmes anyhow.

Anonymous said...

Regarding blocking the BBC...From a technical perspective you can block the BBC programs by installing a band stop filter corresponding to the frequency of the multiplex that the BBC channels are on.

I know that because when it rains the trees opposite become such a filter and I lose BBC!

Anonymous said...

To stop any further harassment from their licence street plodders, even after sending them withdrawn access rights, install CCTV with night vision capability to the front of you home (near to roof height) pointing down to your front door.

These TV licence leeches do not like it and if you do answer your door to them, inform them they are trespassing and that such evidence can be used against them in a court.

They soon scarper, trust me!

Anonymous said...

Why is it so vital you do not provide your name?

Admin said...

Your name is information that TVL is not entitled to. As a legitimate non-viewer, as we hope all our readers are, why would you provide information to people you have no legal business with?

It's also fair to say that TVL is known to abuse process (e.g. stitch up people who they perceive as awkward - please read our stories about Mike Shakespeare and Steve Heather, to name just two). They are more likely to cause problems for a person if they have their name.