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Student TV Licence Guide 2019

If you are a student, you must still be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV, or if you download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer.

This applies whether you live in halls of residence or a private shared house.

It’s important to realise that television licensing law still applies to you no matter what device you use to watch television programmes as they're being shown on TV, or through BBC iPlayer.

Whether it's a laptop, mobile phone or any other device that receives television programmes, you need to be covered by a TV Licence. It's the law, and if you watch TV without a licence you risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, plus any costs or compensation you are asked to pay.

Enforcement officers visit unlicensed rooms on university and college campuses, as well as student accommodation off-campus.

It costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence.

Do I need a TV licence?

You need a TV licence if...

You watch TV on a laptop or PC

If you watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV you must, by law, be covered by a TV Licence, no matter what device you are using.

You download or watch BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer

Even if you don't watch live TV, if you watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, you still need a licence.

You live in halls of residence

Your hall probably has a licence covering communal areas, but this won't cover you for your room. If you watch or record TV in your own room, you will need your own TV licence.

Shared houses

If there is a joint tenancy agreement for the whole house, you may only need one licence.

If you don't have a licence between you, whoever is found watching TV when an Enquiry Officer visits you is the one who risks a prosecution and a fine.

If you have a separate tenancy agreement for your room, you need your own licence.

However, there may be other reasons why you need your own separate licence, such as whether or not your accommodation is self-contained - i.e. you have exclusive access to washing facilities or you have your own entrance to the house.

If you are unsure whether this applies to your particular circumstances, contact tvlicensing to find out more information.

You don't need a TV Licence for your term-time address if...

You only watch downloaded or streamed TV after it has been broadcast.

This includes using websites like YouTube and Bebo, and also 'on demand' internet services, other than BBC iPlayer, that offer TV downloads or streaming.

How to buy a licence

You can buy or renew a TV licence online with a credit or debit card by visiting the TV Licensing website. It also has information on other ways to pay.

These include paying by post, by direct debit, via a savings card or over the counter at a PayPoint outlet.

Claiming a refund

Wherever you live, you can always apply for a refund if your licence is still valid for at least 3 whole months and you no longer need it. If you are moving home, you can transfer your licence by changing your address online.

For more information on how to claim, contact TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090 or visit their website.