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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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Sunday 1 March 2015

Reader Letter: Visitor Watching TV in No Licence Needed Property

In today's post we respond to an email received from one of our readers.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

I have recently confirmed to TV Licensing that I do not need a TV licence, as I only watch catch-up and never live broadcast TV programmes.

Occasionally my 13 year old daughter, who normally lives with her mother, is in the house alone while she is waiting for me to get home from work.

Does the TV licence of her mother's property cover her to watch TV programmes at my property when I'm not there?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Steve,

Legally speaking, as your property does not have a valid TV licence then no-one should be watching TV programmes on installed equipment there. By installed equipment I mean that which is plugged into the mains and has an external aerial.

If your daughter was watching TV programmes on an unplugged device, which was powered by its own internal battery and had no external aerial, then the TV licence of her mother's property would cover her wherever she was watching. That would include if she was sitting in your living room and watching programmes on an unplugged laptop, iPad or similar.

I am sure that your daughter would be sensible enough not to engage with any strangers who called at your property without you being there. TV Licensing employ undesirable types and we would strongly discourage anyone - not least a lone female - from granting them access voluntarily. If she inadvertently answers the door a quick "Sorry, I'm not able to talk [slam]" should do the trick.

As it goes, even if your daughter was (hypothetically) caught watching TV programmes without a valid TV licence, she would not risk prosecution because she is not an appropriate person to interview. 

It is TV Licensing policy not to prosecute anyone under the age of 17 years old. Even then, they will only prosecute a 17 year old if they are responsible for the unlicensed property in question. TV Licensing policy is normally only to prosecute those who are aged 18 years or older, who normally reside at the unlicensed property.

I hope you have found that information useful. 

Thank you for reading 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.


Anonymous said...

Interesting point. What if she was watching live streaming TV (say BB1) on an unplugged laptop with a wireless internet connection through your broadband router?

Just highlights the whole absurdity of the current licence situation—Scrap It!!

Admin said...

The current legislation is a total farce, you're right.

Suppose she was watching using an unplugged laptop and wireless broadband connection - in that case she would be covered by the TV licence of her normal home address.

Unknown said...

This is a very good question as I have a similar question regarding holiday chalets/cottages in the UK.

My wife and I are LLF at our home address but choose to holiday a lot in seaside chalets in various coastal holiday parks in the UK.

Many of these chalets are privately owned and rented out through an agency.
Theoretically the property owner does not need a seperate TV licence for the chalet as they would be covered by the TV licence at their home address provided no one was residing at their home address at the time they was occupying the holiday chalet.

So my question is if a property owner chose not to get an additional TV licence for their chalet assuming that most paying guests would have a TV licence at their home address and would be covered by that for any live TV they watched whilst staying at the chalet. Who would TVL come after in the unlikey event they called at the holiday park and found the TV on the owners or us?

Chris said...

Back in t' day, when this was designed to deal with individuals in a licensed home going on holiday and watching portable tellys in caravans, it made perfect sense. Today, as you say... absurd beyond belief.

Admin said...

Thanks for your comments.

Götter Dämmerung, if you are in a holiday cottage (e.g. a permanent structure) then it needs to be covered by its own valid TV licence if you want to watch TV programmes on equipment installed there.

That would be the case irrespective if you had a TV licence covering your normal home address.

Of course if you were using unplugged battery-powered equipment, then that would be okay as long as your normal home address was covered by a valid TV licence.

In a chalet, it's not quite as cut and dried as that. I'm afraid I cannot offer a more substantive answer in that case. I guess it depends on whether the chalet is considered a permanent or temporary structure.

Chris said...

Worth pointing out that iPads, etc are ALWAYS "powered solely by their own internal batteries". This is regardless of whether or not those batteries are simultaneously being charged.

Unknown said...

@ Admin thank you for your speedy reply.

It's not really a problem and I was more curious where we stood from a legal point more than anything as we hardly use the TV provided in the chalets we stay in unless of course it's one of those rain battered weekends you get a lot of when holidaying in the UK and not having access to our other forms of entertainment that we would normally have at home.

I guess you would have to me mega unlucky if TVL just happened to be visiting the holiday park that you was staying at on the week(s) you'd booked.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would happen if you used a portable solar panel to power the TV? It's neither plugged into the mains, nor is it powered by it's own internal batteries.