In today's post we respond to an email received from one of our readers.
Our reader writes:
Dear TV Licensing Blog,
I am a single Mum struggling to make ends meet, because I was recently made redundant from my part-time retail job. My TV licence was due for renewal at the start of April, but I decided not to bother as I rarely use the TV anyway.
My Dad has told me that he will pay for the TV licence, because my young son likes to watch the cartoons. I have refused my Dad's offer, because I don't like him interfering and my son has plenty of DVDs already. My Dad has told me that if the TV licence inspector calls I will have to let him into my flat, then I'll probably regret not buying a TV licence.
What is likely to happen if the TV licence inspector does call around?
TV Licensing Blog replies:
Thank you for getting in touch. You'll find the answer to most of your TV Licensing questions in our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare, which I'd encourage you to download.
Briefly, a TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is installed (e.g. plugged in and set-up) or used to receive TV programmes at the same time as they are broadcast to other members of the public.
If you're not receiving TV programmes in the manner described, then you do not legally require a TV licence. A TV licence is not needed for watching pre-recorded DVDs or non-live catch-up services like the BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player. Similarly a TV licence is not legally required merely because you own a TV set (or anything else for that matter).
My advice would be to ignore TV Licensing completely, as you have no legal need for its services. Contrary to what your Dad may have told you, you do not need to prove a negative to TV Licensing. Simply place TV Licensing's monthly threatograms in the bin and ignore any of its employees that visit your home.
Do not waste your time communicating with TV Licensing, as you're under no legal obligation to. Under no circumstances engage with a TV Licensing employee, or voluntarily allow them access to your flat. TV Licensing employees have no more rights than any other visitor to your home. They do not have the automatic right of entry to any property, despite what they may pretend.
Best of luck for the future and please tell your friends about our blog.
If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.