All your household bills will be included in your aparto accommodation, but getting a TV licence usually falls to you and your housemates. If you watch TV and are not covered by a licence, you may find yourself with a hefty fine. Work out if you need one, whether you’re already covered, and how much it will cost with this definitive guide to getting a TV licence while you’re at university.
Student life often involves lots of movie nights and evenings spent snuggling on the sofa watching TV with your housemates. If you want to keep up with the latest twists and turns of your favourite soaps or brush up on your knowledge with a good old documentary, you will need to make sure that the TVs in your house or room are covered by a TV licence.
This guide tells you whether or not you need one, how much it will cost, and what to do if you don’t watch TV.
Students are not exempt from TV licencing laws, so if you are planning to watch any programmes on your TV or laptop, you will need to purchase a TV licence. You need a licence to watch or record programmes as they are being shown on TV, or live on an online service such as All4, Sky Go, and YouTube.
If you don’t watch live TV, but you download or watch programmes on BBC iPlayer, you will also need a TV licence. It doesn’t matter whether you watch programmes on your TV, smartphone, laptop, games console or tablet – you must still be covered by a TV licence.
A TV licence costs £147 to cover you for a full year. You can either pay this sum in its entirety in a one-off payment, or you can spread the cost out over weekly, monthly, or quarterly instalments to suit you. All of this can be done online, as can applying for a partial refund, if your licence will not be in use for the full year.
If your halls have a communal licence, it’s important to be aware that this will not cover your room. However, if your parents have a licence you may be covered by that, provided you live with them outside of term time and you use TV receiving equipment that is powered by internal batteries, does not have an aerial, and is not plugged into the mains.
For those of you who prefer a good book to watching TV, you do not need a TV licence if you don’t watch any live or catch-up TV programmes at all. However, you do still need to let TV Licensing know that you do not need a licence. An officer may visit your home to check that you are not watching any programmes that you need a licence for. You can tell TV Lisencing that you do not need a licence by filling in a quick online form.