In today's post we respond to an email received from one of our readers.
Ken is currently in the process of clearing his recently deceased mother's house and wonders about the legalities of receiving TV programmes there on a temporary basis.
Our reader writes:
Dear TV Licensing Blog,
At the end of August my elderly mother, who lived in Lowestoft about 150 miles from my home in Nottingham, passed away after a short illness. I have a lot of happy memories of my childhood seafront home, which has been in the family for almost a century. Sadly the time has now come to clear the property and move on. Over the past month or so I have spent every weekend in Lowestoft trying to clear the family home and getting my mother's affairs in order. Having read your blog previously, I knew not to pay too much notice to the TV Licensing threats that arrived in the post. However, I have now hooked up a TV set so that I can enjoy the rugby as I work in the background. My home in Nottingham has a valid TV licence and there is no-one there when I am in Lowestoft. How do I stand in terms of TV licence rules? Thanks in anticipation of your response and please keep up the fine work on your blog.
TV Licensing Blog replies:
Thank you for getting in touch with the TV Licensing Blog.
We are sorry to hear about the death of your mother. It is very much regrettable - although wholly typical - that the pariahs at TV Licensing have started to send threatening letters to her home so shortly after her passing. Only a month ago The Mirror reported on our story about how TV Licensing routinely threatens the recently bereaved.
As a reader of the TV Licensing Blog, I'm sure you're aware that a TV licence is required for any property where equipment is installed or used for the purposes of receiving "live" broadcast TV programmes. It is properties that are licensed and not individuals, so the fact your Nottingham home is covered by a valid TV licence does not automatically cover you to receive programmes at your mother's Lowestoft property.
Technically speaking, if you have installed TV receiving equipment at the Lowestoft property (e.g. connected it to the mains and plugged in an external aerial) then that property should be covered by its own TV licence. However, if you were to receive TV programmes using unplugged equipment powered by its own internal battery (e.g. an unplugged laptop or tablet streaming content wirelessly), then you would be covered by the TV licence of your Nottingham property.
Our advice, as you already know, would be to totally ignore TV Licensing. Bin its letters and keep its scummy operatives out in the cold. It is an unfortunate fact that some commission-driven TV Licensing goons do tell lies in order to bump up their own performance stats.
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Best of luck for the future.
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.