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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.

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.

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

TV Licensing Rules on Multiple Occupation


In response to one of yesterday's Facebook comments, we thought we'd take the opportunity to clarify TV Licensing's rules on single and multiple occupation.

These rules are particularly applicable to those living in student properties or halls of residence. For reasons that will become apparent below, we consider the rules on multiple occupancy grossly unfair and another TV Licensing money-making con.

Before delving any deeper, let's explore the meaning of what we describe as a "liveable unit" in our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare. A liveable unit is a self-contained space where a person/people share the majority of their everyday living. In practical terms it is properties that are licensed: not equipment and not individuals. A single liveable unit is covered by one TV licence. Any amount of TV receiving equipment can be installed or used in that liveable unit once it is correctly licensed.

As a general rule of thumb, a property shared by family members is likely to be a single liveable unit; a property shared by non-family members is likely to be more than one liveable unit unless an agreement (e.g. shared tenancy) is in place that allows them equal access to all parts of the property.

There are various permutations as to what a liveable unit actually is. Generally speaking a normal residential property, where all of the occupants have free access to all of the rooms, is considered one liveable unit and is covered by one TV licence. If one of the rooms was let to someone else then they would require a separate TV licence to cover the use of TV receiving equipment in that room.

Students can find the rules particularly confusing. A student renting a room in a hall of residence would require their own TV licence to cover the use of TV receiving equipment in that room (but see here for information about a special case). TV equipment provided by the college/university in communal areas is usually covered by that institution’s own TV licence.

If a student property was occupied by several people named on a joint tenancy agreement then that property would be covered by a single TV licence. If, however, the property was shared by several people with separate tenancy agreements for different rooms in the property then each person would require their own TV licence to use TV receiving equipment in their room. Furthermore, they might also be required to buy another TV licence to cover the use of TV receiving equipment in communal areas of the property, like the living room or kitchen.

The rules, as implemented by TV Licensing, are archaic, unenforceable and grossly unfair. As things stand the situation could arise where a four-person student property required five TV licences, whereas the identical four-person family property next door only required one, whereas the identical single-person property next door to that only required one. It really is a ludicrous state of affairs, which is designed purely to maximise TV licence revenue for the BBC.

Of course, if you follow our golden rule of non-communication/co-operation with TV Licensing, then they'd probably be none the wiser about the number of liveable units hidden behind your front door!

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