Lincoln students fined after being caught with no TV Licence

Nearly 150 students and young people in Lincoln have been caught watching live TV without a TV Licence in the last year.

New figures released by TV Licensing have revealed that 147 people between the ages of 18 and 25 were caught out in the city between September 2014 and August 2015, with more than 26,000 prosecuted nationwide.

A significant percentage of those were undergraduates, and TV Licensing has issued a reminder to freshers that they could be fined up to £1,000 if they are caught watching live TV, on any device without a TV Licence.

A TV Licence, which costs £145.50, is required to watch or record programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV, regardless of the channel being watched, the device used (TV, computer, laptop, mobile phone or any other), and how it is received (terrestrial, satellite, cable, via the internet or any other way).

Mark Whitehouse, spokesperson for TV Licensing in East Anglia, said: “Every year myths circulate around campus about when you do and don’t need a licence.

“We want to make sure students know one is needed by law to watch or record live TV, on any device including a laptop, tablet, mobile phone or games console.

“To avoid the risk of prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, we encourage students to check if they need a licence on our website or by calling 0300 790 6113.”

When do students need a TV Licence?

  • If they live in halls of residence and use a device to watch or record TV in their own room
  • If they are sharing a house with other students and use a device to watch/record TV in their room, and the room is a separately occupied place (a separate tenancy agreement would normally indicate that this is the case)
  • If they have a separate tenancy agreement but a television is only being used in a communal area, then only one licence is required
  • If they are sharing a house with other students and use a device to watch/record TV in their own room, but the house can be treated as one place shared by all, then only one TV Licence is required (a joint tenancy agreement would usually be evidence that the house is a single licensable place for this purpose)
  • A device powered by its own internal batteries – a pocket sized TV or a mobile phone for example – may be covered by a licence at the student’s parents’ address. However, they must not install the device (plug it into the mains) when using it to receive television. If there is no TV Licence at their parents’ address, they will need to obtain one to watch TV