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 TV programmes, or to watch or download BBC on-demand programmes via the iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a TV licence and we encourage you to buy one.

If you've just arrived here from a search engine, then you might find our Quick Guide helpful.


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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In fact, it is even possible to extinguish their negligible visiting rights by telling them you have withdrawn their implied right of access to your property.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

If you've found this article useful please consider liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter or downloading our free ebook.

Edit: TV Licensing has recently chosen to disregard all WOIRA instructions issued in relation to Scottish properties, on the basis that the law of tresspass is different in Scotland. Since the policy change was have seen worrying instances where TV Licensing goons have been asked to leave a property, but have refused. Anyone in this situation should call the police and report TV Licensing's threatening behaviour.

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.

Anonymous said...

It is all very well to send them a letter advising you do not have a TV, but this is only valid for 2 years and then the harassment starts again. For the last year we have been sent a letter each month threatening us with court action - we do not have a TV and haven't done for about 5 years. The latest letter threatened us with an investigation and a visit on the 9th of April. The letters are nasty and threatening and this shouldn't be allowed. I am not paying the fund the BBC!

danthechef said...

does anyone know is its possible to revoke implied rights to anyone. what i mean is if there was someone who used to live at the property but no longer lives there, but still feels like they have right to access the grounds of the property, will this work to revoke their rights aswell? thank you in advance

Pictsidhe said...

I sent TVL a woira about 5 years ago, the said they'd visit anyway. I went to the local police to make a complaint. The police sad they do not take complaints about TVL, but did call TVL to tell them I'm a bit unhinged and violence was probable if they turned up. TVL told the police they'd get a warrant. It went quiet for a while after that. 3 weeks ago, I hurled abuse abuse at a TVL goon who had knocked on my door, also reminding him that I had withdrawn their implied right of access and he was trespassing.

TLDR; TVL now ignore WOIRAs

Barry said...

I called tvl about 10 months ago, to remove their implied rights of access, they said they would check again in 2 years to see if my circumstances have changed.
But I now have a letter saying they are unable to accept my request, because it's not recognised under scots law, can anyone shed any light on this if it's true or just bullshit scare tactics

Admin said...

Hello Barry and thanks for your comment.
TVL changed its policy on Scottish WOIRA at the start of this year. It now refuses to accept any WOIRA instruction pertaining to a Scottish property.
The only way of challenging this BBC policy decision would be through the courts, which people are understandably loathe to do. The BBC has loads of (other people's) money and can throw around its legal might, whereas most Scots folk issuing WOIRA don't have that luxury.
The whole system is broken.

Anonymous said...

Does this apply to coucel dwellings cos iam getting harased on my mobile saying [ have you forgoten somthing.[ cheeky barstards]can i still write this letter.and stand up for my rights.

Anonymous said...

Or just do what myself and my wife have done for the past 19 years, ignore the letters by simply putting them into the bin!! Over the years they have obtained our names, perhaps through buying TVs etc, but thankfully due to the glorious Data protection act 1998, they can only hold your name for a maximum of 6 months, so the letters come back addressed to "The Legal Occupier" again soon. They have been at the door countless times over the years, and thanks to CCTV we never need to open our door to anyone we don't know. That said a few years ago they were waiting for us in the street, but simply saying "too busy to chat just now" chased them away. Once I even answered "probably" to the question of "do you require a TV licence" but without any evidence (access to home) or even my name they can't do anything. I feel sorry for the people who seem to think its still a criminal offence not to have a licence. Stop paying for it, you don't really need to anymore. I like watching them on the CCTV monitor, as we have a SKY dish bolted to the side of the house, this always makes me chuckle. One thing that tells me that the TV licence isn't important is the fact that over the 19 years we've not paid it, the maximum fine is still £1000. If it was really that important, should it not be higher??

Anonymous said...

Can anyone confirm if this applies in Northern Ireland? similar to the previous Scots poster we have many laws that are different to England

Unknown said...

I do not support pedophiles in anyway shape or form, if you wish to support these person's with your hard earned money even though you've actually already paid tax when purchasing the TV then crack on son! ;)

Anonymous said...


Please also take notice that the land known as England is a Common Law

Simple sign on the door and if you are worried about a warrant then ask that they communicate with written format to the legal occupier!
Remember they are setup as a company to bully for fees! And will use the law to push the point, as the law / gov gets a hand in what they get from you!
Simple –
If it is broadcast in the uk and uk isles then you need a licence, if its broadcast from outside the uk and british isles then you do not require a licence.
Even more simple
Sit watching tv from eu and the rest of the world and tv guy can sit and watch with me! Nothing they can do, the same for online live abroad they can not do any thing.

Only applies to uk based signals.

Admin said...

We disagree with your comments Anon.
The key thing we must highlight to anyone reading this is that a TV licence is needed irrespective of where in the world TV programmes originate from.

Anonymous said...

Just got another threatening letter. Here's a questionable quote. " REMEMBER even if you don't have a TV, by law you need to be covered by a TV licence if you use any other device. This includes computers, tablets, phones, games consoles , digital boxes and DVDs/VHS recorders." No mention of what you use them for just an implied obligation to by a tv licence if you own such a device.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,

Is it really true that one needs a licence only if they watch programs with a Uk based signal?


Admin said...

That's not true at all, no.
A TV licence is needed irrespective of where in the world a TV programme originates.

Anonymous said...

What is classed as live to?
If I gave sky and don't watch any BBC channels (which I don't) do I still need a licence?

Anonymous said...

If you watch Sky, you need a license. And the BBC have now updated the rules to state if you watch iPlayer, you need a license.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this is a when,who or why question, I am confused that the BBC licensing are charging a licence fee for ALL tv channels although I thought that they only had jurisdiction for BBC channels, hence the when, who or why. Can you tell us when they were given this authority, who gave them it and why would an organisation (BBC)be given the right to charge for other channels that they have nothing to do with?

Anonymous said...

Wow bill....you're dumb.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Bill's comment was almost 4 years ago, but still dumb.
I arrived via the sites YouTube channel and found this an interesting read. I however do watch live TV so can't participate, but I still agree that it's a stealth tax, just like road tax which isn't spent on roads. Stick it to ém!

Anonymous said...

love your site. we are getting letters with threats already. we made the mistake of Informing them that we didnt need a licence and had about 21 months of peace. now that send letters already telling us that our no licence needed is up in November and that we have to get back to them. they adressed it to (not our real names ;) Mr C Wilson (again not our names) which is my first initial with my wife's surname (who has my surname of course) so they don't have a clue as the original 2 year no licence needed was at a different adress. it's a little shocking that they adressed it to a Mr C Wilson (not real...) so how would they know my wife's surname but adress it to me and not her?
also does anyone know if, if I see a tv licence puppy outside, i can just let my little dog day hello through the front door? I have no signs up as I am not legally obliged to and the second you say "warning dogs" or anything like that you admit (legally) that your dogs are agressive (so don't have any signs at all)
does having a right of access revoked sign on your front door any bearing if that front door is accessible without a drive way or fence? also would I be safe if one of my (very little hahaha) dogs bites someone trying to look in to our lounge after accessing our back garden? (fences all around, i wouldn't want to face my Rot...chiuaha)
thanks for any answers and I hope I wrote this comment in an acceptable way.
oh I forgot, am I allowed to throw someone of my property (we own the house) if they refuse to leave?
Also wanted to say we do have a tv/big Monitor but it is not connected to any cable or satelite. we have Wi-Fi and watch YouTube, Netflix and Amazon prime and also play games on laptop and ps4.
as far as I understand none of the above require a tv licence? (excuse my English I am not a native but come from a country that makes decent cars)

Unknown said...

Yes bill your a sheep. Turd

Unknown said...

You really dumb bill

Unknown said...

They are using ex G4S / Morrison Data Service now so have had to remove implicit right of access from my meter reading company now.

just found a member of this company looking through my windows and then he hand delivered a threat letter from TV Licensing.

I have not watched or recorded or used Iplayer in over 5 years when can this harassment stop.

Amber51 said...

At my previous address I notified TV Licensing that I did not have a TV and never watched anything on my laptop etc. When I moved I received the usual letter and phoned them to say I had moved in and NO I didn't have a TV etc.

Enforcement officers knocked at my door late one night - it was dark and I do not answer my door to anyone unless they are expected or announce themselves as a neighbour.

I then had a letter that was threatening which annoyed me so I phoned them and said that if they called again they would need a police officer and a search warrant.

Peace for several months. Now received a more threatening letter - because I ignored their last letter - tho it does say that if I notify them that I don't need a licence they will stop writing to me! Well I know that doesn't work.

Apparently an investigation into my property has begun.

Do people that don't own a car have to put up with the same harassment from vehicle licensing? Do single people get harrassed and their beds searched by Council Tax officials?

What next - am I going to be hounded because I don't have a microwave. Already trying to explain to the water board and electric/gas as to why my bills are so low.

Go ahead and harass me if I owe you the money but please don't assume that I have a TV when I have lived without for the past 6 years and rarely watched the damned thing when I did own one.

Anonymous said...

I have been harassed by TV Licensing for twelve years, despite my having informed them on at least three occasions that I do not have a television. (Well, I do, but it's analogue.) They are now threatening to barge into my house (I live in Scotland). What rights do I have to repel them in view of the new Coronavirus legislation? It looks as though they set this business in motion before that came into force. If they turn up on the doorstep, can I tell them to keep 6' 6" away from us? What about a charm offensive --- invite them in, make them a cup of tea, show them round our televisionless abode? Would that get the bullies off my back? Advice welcome.

Admin said...

In Scotland you don't need to worry too much, because they're even worse at enforcement there than they are in England and Wales.
Please see: No TV Licensing Search Warrants Granted in Major Scottish Cities