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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.

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Friday 28 December 2012

Stopping TV Licensing Trespass: In the Words of the BBC and TV Licensing

Some people, mainly BBC luvvies and DigitalSpy members, incorrectly believe that George Entwistle was good value for money, Jimmy Savile should be canonised and TV Licensing can do whatever they want.

We might not be able to remove their affection for Entwistle and Savile, but hopefully we can dispel the myth that TV Licensing can act with legal impunity. 

One way of holding TV Licensing to account is to ban their employees from stepping foot on your property. This dynamite option, known as Withdrawal of Implied Right of Access (WOIRA), is proving increasingly popular amongst those opposed to TV Licensing's harassment of legitimate non-viewers. WOIRA should, at least in theory, prevent TV Licensing visiting the property, but some people believe it can also have the negative effect of catapulting the occupier further up TV Licensing's interest list. It is also believed that WOIRA makes it more likely that TV Licensing will consider a search warrant, as they have no reasonable prospect of gaining entry to the property voluntarily. For that reason anyone considering WOIRA should weigh up the risks carefully before proceeding.

Here, in words taken directly from the BBC's own policy document, is a quick run down of everything you need to know on the WOIRA process:

1. Right of Access:
"It is well established that an implied right of access to a property exists for those that have a legitimate reason to be on the property. This implied right allows the caller to come to the front door/gate if they have legitimate business with the occupier. If they are asked to leave then the implied right no longer applies."

2. Trespass:
"Requests to withdraw the implied right of access must be respected as TV Licensing Enquiry Officers would be committing trespass if they visited the address after the right of access had been withdrawn."

3. Name Not Required:
"There is no legal requirement to provide a name when someone withdraws their implied right of access. However, TV Licensing will always request a name as this the best way of ensuring we are corresponding with the occupier."

4. WOIRA Notification:
"Notice of WOIRA is not legally required to be in writing. TV Licensing may receive a notice of WOIRA via either:
  • letter
  • email
  • telephone
  • verbally when an enquiry officer is told by an occupant that he has withdrawn the implied right of access.
"Upon receipt of a WOIRA notification, written acknowledgement and an explanation of the policy will be sent to the individual by TV Licensing.

"Regardless of whether a name is provided, once the occupant at an address has notified the BBC or TV Licensing of the withdrawal of the implied right to visit, a WOIRA guard will be applied.

"As withdrawing the implied right of access may be a potential method of evasion, unlicensed WOIRA addressees will be sent bespoke mailings which do not refer to Enquiry Officer visits."

5. Visiting Addresses:
"WOIRA addresses must not be visited.

"Addresses will become available for visits again under a limited number of circumstances, for example if notification is received from the Royal Mail that the occupant has moved away.

6. Guards:
"Once an address has given notice of WOIRA then a WOIRA guard will be applied immediately to prevent standard mailings being sent and the address being visited.

"Withdrawing the right to visit can be for an indefinite period. But, as circumstances can change, e.g. when people move house, TV Licensing needs to ensure that such guards continue to be accurate. A confirmation letter asking if the situation remains the same will be sent to unlicensed properties every two years.

"The WOIRA guard will be removed-
  • if TV Licensing receives no response to its confirmation letters
  • if TV Licensing receives new data that indicates the person who withdrew the implied right of access has moved."
7. Detection and Search Warrant Procedures:
"Given that TV Licensing is unable to visit WOIRA addresses, detection and search warrants will be used as necessary and appropriate. Negative detection results will result in the WOIRA guard being reset and bespoke mailings being stopped for 2 years. Positive detection results will result in further investigations being undertaken."

The appendices of the policy document contain, quite appropriately, a series of idiotproof diagrams showing how the WOIRA policy is to be applied in a range of circumstances.

Hope you're all having an enjoyable festive period. Unless, of course, you're working for the BBC or TV Licensing!

Edit: You can download a template WOIRA letter from our Resources page.

Edit: TV Licensing has recently chosen to disregard all WOIRA instructions issued in relation to Scottish properties, on the basis that the law of trespass 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.


Anonymous said...

There is conclusive evidence that the BBC has broken every single one of the points you have taken from their own procedures and they are all available on YouTube.

The BBC clearly believe they are a law unto themselves but thanks to this blog and the many YouTube videos that prove how dishonest the BBC are in their pursuit of that oh so precious £145.50 the tide is turning against them.

The internet will ruin the BBC's reputation, no that they need much assistance in that of course :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent information there, hopefully many more will join the LLF community.

I also second the last paragraph and hope BBC/Capita employees have the worst Christmas ever.

Anonymous said...

Can you give a withdrawal of implied right to access if you are renting and not the property owner?

Admin said...

Yes, you totally can.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be possible to withdraw right of access but then tell TV Licensing that they may make an inspection visit if they buy a visit permit. I would propose a per visit fee of £150.- plus postage. Any thoughts?

Unknown said...

Or tell them the fee for your time to facilitate a visit will be £150, why should you give up your valuable time for free

Anonymous said...

How do I draught up a letter ?

Admin said...

There is a template on our Resources page.
Please be aware that WOIRA can be risky, in that it sometimes draws extra attention from TV Licensing. They often ignore WOIRA too.

sledge said...

I live overseas and have a 2nd home here and do not have a TV or other device that warrants a TV license. I am about to sent a WOiRA to them along with TVL terms letter and if they turn up while I am still here will be mute except record the time and date on film that they are in breach of the WOIRA. My next Q is a bit tricky as they will then go for the search Warrant so what happens if I am not here. Can they force entry and how do i get notified . I am not giving them a e mail or tel number

Admin said...

It is unlikely they will go for a search warrant. Warrants are generally very rare. They are usually saved for people who have been awkward/aggressive towards TV Licensing goons.

Read this post for more info about search warrants: http://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/tv-licensing-search-warrants-prevention.html

Pictsidhe said...

TV Licensing have twice now ignored the multiple WOIRAs I have sent them, one was even via the local police. I am 45 year old recluse and have never had a TV, to say I'm a wee bit pissed off with TV licensing after 27 years of their harassment is an understatement. Violence is very likely next time they visit. I cannot get rid of them and would like this to go to court. The police won't take a complaint against them.

Anonymous said...

No such crime as trespass in Scotland. Your revoking nothing!

Anonymous said...

Work for them hahaha