We often get asked whether students need a TV licence for their house and it seems like there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We’ve written this blog post to break down when you need one and when you can do without.
What is the TV Licence?
You’ll need a TV licence if you want to watch live TV, or watch or download TV programmes using iPlayer. The fee is used to pay for every aspect of the BBC’s service offering, from TV programming to podcasts and weather forecasts. Even if you spend your time watching the likes of ITV and Channel 4, you still probably use a BBC service; in a recent survey, 92% of respondents said they used at least one BBC service a week.
If you never watch live TV and never use iPlayer, you do not need to pay the licence fee. If that’s the case, you need to let TV Licencing know. You can do that here.
However, if you do need the licence but don’t pay, you could be fined more than £1000 if an enforcement officer visits your house. This includes confirming that you have a licence when asked on the iPlayer app, even if you do not.
How Much Does It Cost?
The TV licence fee this year is £154.50. That may seem high, but it’s actually reasonable given the amount of quality TV you get for your money. The cost rises with inflation each year. Sadly, there’s no discount if you’re a student, but if you’re in a shared student house, signed under a joint tenancy agreement, you only need one licence. You can then save money by equally dividing the cost of the licence between you and your friends.
If you only need the licence during term time, you may be entitled to a partial refund. You’ll have to apply for this on the TV Licencing website and provide proof of your term dates. You’ll be able to get a refund if there’s still at least a full month left on your licence.
How Do I Pay?
The easiest way to pay your licence fee is as a one-off payment online via debit or credit card. You can also pay in installments, via cheque, by post, or via PayPoint services at most supermarkets and corner shops.
Do I Have To Pay?
There’s some good news for students. You may not have to pay anything at all if you meet certain requirements. If you live with your parents for part of the year, for example when you go home for the holidays, you are covered by your their TV licence for portable devices, including laptops, as long as they are not plugged into the mains and not connected to an aerial. However, if you use a desktop computer or a TV to watch programmes, you will still need your own TV licence.
Looking for a house for next year? Speak to the friendly team at Pick My Pad Estate Agents in Walkden.