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 on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a 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.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Reader Letter: Do TV Licence Inspectors Have the Right of Entry?

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:

Dear Michelle,

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.


Unknown said...

I think you should have mentioned what to do in the [extremely] rare instance when TVL show up with a search warrant. ;)

Fred Bear said...

The 'TV Licensing Inspectors' (actually Capita employees) will knock on the door and if anyone answers it, they'll briefly show their ID and ask: "Do you live here'? If you answer 'yes' they'll follow that with: "do you have a TV Licence?" If you say 'no' they'll follow that up with "do you have a TV?" If you say yes, they'll caution you and then try to get you to incriminate yourself.

Of course you are just at liberty to ask them if their car has a MOT. Or ask them to explain the Communications Act 2003. Or to talk about the weather. Or to sing 'Yankee-doodle-dandy.' Or to shut the door.

Admin said...

Thanks for your comments chaps.
I have directed Michelle to further information, so she can read up about the exceptionally rare circumstances in which a search warrant is executed. Mindful of the way Google works, I have to try to write in a way that emulates people's search queries - "TV licence inspector" is used very commonly, hence my inclusion of the term. A shed load of people are searching for the term "TV license" (sic), so I might need to weave in a few deliberate spelling mistakes for SEO purposes!