TV Licensing - Who is Liable?
When is a TV Licence required?
A television licence is required to watch any television programme "as they are being shown". Therefore a licence is not required if a computer is being used solely for watching pre-recorded television programmes such as programmes on i-player, youtube etc.
Is the landlord liable if a landlord provides a TV in a let property?
No, the person who uses or intends to use the apparatus to watch a programme as it is being shown requires a licence.
As the landlord does not intend to use the apparatus to watch programmes, the landlord is not liable.
However, you should note that it is essential to have a term in the tenancy agreement that the tenant will obtain and pay for a TV licence because it is an offence under section 363 Communications Act 2003 to "install" a TV that is to be used without a licence.
If the tenant argued they thought the landlord was supplying a licence without proof to the contrary, an offence could be committed under this section.
On a joint tenancy, is one licence needed for the whole premises or one per person?
Where the whole property is let as one on a joint tenancy, typically, only one licence for the entire property will be required.
If rooms are let separately, does each tenant require their licence?
Does each flat require a licence if a property is let as self-contained?
Yes, each flat is treated as a separate dwelling so each tenant will require a licence.
Are students exempt from requiring a TV licence?
No, just like everyone else, students must be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV.
This applies whether they live in halls of residence or a private shared house.
If I have a lodger, does the lodger require a licence, or can the TV be used on my licence?
A further licence is not required if the lodger is a family member, partner au-pair or similar.
However, if the lodger is unrelated, they will require one for their room.
Where can I obtain further information?
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The general starting position as to liability for paying utilities, including the electricity, gas, water, telephone and internet, is that the occupier or consumer is liable.