TV licence for student halls?

My daughter is off this weekend to share a 5-bed flat in student halls. Obviously she wants to take a small TV but I have just been told that each individual needs a TV licence!!!

With several hundred students in one building, this seems a bit unfair. Is there any way round this?

Elizabeth 739


  • VickyA_2VickyA_2 Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Have a look on under the "students" section. Unfortunately, it does look like your daughter will have to stump up the cash for one. Especially if the tv is kept in her room and she has a single and private agreement for her room. The website explains it a bit more fully.
    Sealed Pot Challenge #021 #8 975.71 #9 £881.44 #10 £961.13 #11 £782.13 #12 £741.83 #13 £2135.22 #14 £895.53 declared
  • The only other way around this is to get a very small screen. (I think it is 5 inches or less) these can be covered by your home TV licence, as long as she returns there for some part of the year.

    When I was a student, we had a number of organised things going on, find a group of people to share the TV with (one TV in a comunal area) and split the cost of the licence, ie per landing. Or rota/time share the TV. Freshers week are good times to sort this out, go and meet people find out who lives around you who might be on a different course!
    Smile it confuses people!
  • The TV licence people seem very keen to squeeze as much money as possible from poor students. Last year they sent letters to every single person in our hall, twice, asking us to confirm that we do not have a TV. They also say they will be sending inspectors round halls to check.

    So make sure that if you do have a TV you get a licence, and if you don't have a TV they know that.
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • rachrach Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    i heard that if there's a lock on the door you need a license as a general rule.

    when i was a student the Bursar used to put notices up when the licensing people were due round saying 'we would like to remind all students that if you have a TV in your room you need a TV license. for those who do not have one the Lock-ups will be open on wednesday xth October (or whenever it was) for TVs to be stored away.' short hand for 'the licenseing people are coming, hide your TVs - he very handily arranged for the lock ups to be opened again once they had been and gone! :o ;D
    Mum to gorgeous baby boy born Sept 2010:j
  • Thank you for the last posting and it's great to hear that the authorities are ready to help. I hope more colleges are as thoughtful.

    In my daughter's case, she has an outer locked door to the flat and individual locked bedrooms. Presumably, no-one is allowed to come in, does this mean that the licensing authorites always have to let them know in advance?
  • lellielellie Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    the uni will be able to let them in.. so yes they can check..

    just don't get one for your room.. share the license in the living room.. she won't have time for tv anyway! ;)
  • Lady_KLady_K Forumite
    4.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    My daughter has just gone back to university into private halls. It is a massive building housing 6, 4 and 2 occupant flats. We did not know that the high charges for this place do not include a TV license even though the halls provide the TV itself for each flat. We presumed as they put the TV in there that the costs included the TV license covered. On moving in she found a note stating that they needed to get a TV license or risk a fine. She is in a flat that has 4 people but the others are not willing to get a license, more so as they are only there till May or June same as my daughter, till the following late Sept. I don't think it's fair on them even if they split the costs because they aren’t there for a full year and also they didn’t put the TV there in the first place. I don't agree with the TV license anyway and think it should stopped. I would rather the BBC have adverts in between programs than pay that huge bill each year. I pay for sky and rarely watch anything on the BBC channels anyway

  • Does your daughter own a laptop? If so, just get a USB TV card for that and if she ever gets caught she can argue that as it's charged by internal batteries she doesn't require a licence for it.

    Also look at the details about her insurance policies. It's possible that any legal fees were she to get involved in a s dispute with the TVLA are covered by that insurance. If she ever does get caught, just tell her to ask those who she is insured with to send a legal letter to the TVLA and trust me, the TVLA will then drop the case. :)

    tbh we used a TV all year in halls in full view of a main road, and no-one showed up. I think the guy would have ahd a broken nose if he's showed up anyway, such was the nature of my flatmates during that year.

    Also it's a good idea to make a thread at on their forum.
    Charles J
  • we had this situation last year with our daughter.
    You can get tv licence either quarterly.. or as we did , one for 12 months but there is a special arrangement for students that you can get a refund for the last quarter if they aren't using it then. Detail is on the tv licence website (don't have handy)
  • from

    Did you know you could be entitled to a substantial refund on your licence fee?

    We understand that most students do not need the final 3 months of their TV Licence as they leave the campus during the summer. Provided you don't need your licence again before it expires, you can claim for any completely unused quarters (three consecutive calendar months, e.g. July, August and September).

    Most students would therefore need to buy a TV Licence at the beginning of term in October in order to allow enough time at the end of the term year to qualify for a refund. But remember to get your licence as soon as you need it, because leaving it late could prove very costly.
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