In today's post we respond to a Facebook message received from one of our readers.
Our reader writes:
Dear TV Licensing Blog,
I have just moved into a new student property with 3 friends. And we are getting post to previous tenants about not renewing our TV licence and that we will have visits starting past September the 11th.
We have no intention of watching the TV at the moment, the remote doesn't even have batteries in. I am just wondering what I should do in the case of a visit.
What should I say if you could make me a script that I could share with my friends that would be great.
Also how many times can I expect them to come to our address over the course of the year?
Cheers and keep up the good work.
TV Licensing Blog replies:
As you're aware, you don't need a TV licence for your property unless you receive TV programmes through your equipment (any sort of equipment). It would be wise to unplug any external aerial, just to be on the safe side.
TV Licensing goons are notoriously economical with the facts when they visit. They will nearly always be carrying a handheld device (like a chunky PDA). Quite often they are reluctant to say who they are or show their ID, so it is very important never to engage in casual chit-chat with strangers on the doorstep.
They will often start a conversation with "are you the occupier?", "have you just moved in?" or "I'm here to sort you out with a payment card".
They hardly ever mention the words "TV licence" or "TV Licensing" unless they are pressed.
If they fail to say who they are then simply say "as you're not prepared to show any ID, I'm not prepared to say anything" and close the door. If they confirm that they're from TV Licensing, simply say "I do not legally require a TV licence" and close the door.
It is best not to engage any further with them, as the more you say the more likely they are to contort your words and potentially set you up.
Remember that TV Licensing has no more visiting rights than any other unsolicited caller at your premises. They do not have the automatic right of entry, or to have their questions answered. TV Licensing rules are such that they should leave immediately if asked to.
The frequency of goon visits depends on a number of factors, but primarily your location. If you're in an urban area, where lots of other properties will be receiving TV Licensing attention, then it is possible you could be visited on a two-monthly basis.
Hope that all helps.
Best wishes for your studies and the future, and please be sure to tell all your friends about the TV Licensing 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.