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Television Licences

Whose responsible for the television licence at a rental property?

Most landlords do not provide a television for their tenants, therefore the burden of responsibilty for maintaining a valid television licence becomes the tenant’s.

However, if the landlord has provided a television to the rental property then the burden of responsibility shifts, and both the landlord and the tenant can be held responsible.

If a landlord does provide a television set used at the rental property then they should make clear whose responsibility the television licence is by writing this as a clause to the tenancy agreement.  This won’t necessarily completely indemnify the landlord, but it will go a long way if any dispute or fine occurs.

Another alternative for those landlords supplying a television set to a rental property is to buy the TV licence and then add this cost to any service charge or rent. In this situation it follows that future renewals of the television licence will be the responsibility of the landlord.

It is worth remembering that all television dealerships must by law inform the TV Licensing Agency of all sales of televisions receiving equipment within 28 days of the sale.  Any new purchase by landlords will therefore be cross checked against their data base of Licence holders

The tenant responsibilty for a television licence

Even when the televison is supplied by the landlord, it is also the responsibility of the tenant to check that the landlord has supplied a valid TV licence.

Where several tenants share a rental property, each owning their own television then one of the following applies:

  • Under separate tenancy agreements all tenants will need their own licenses
  • If it’s a joint tenancy then only one license is needed.

The lodgers responsibility for a television licence

Lodgers need a separate television license if they have their own TV in a bedroom, the exceptions being:

  • If the lodger is a family member
  • If the lodger lives in the same household due to a relationship (e.g. common law relationships)
  • If the lodger is employed by the household (e.g. au pair, housekeeper, cook)

More advice on a landlord’s responsibility for a TV licence?

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