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TV Licence - shared house and others refuse to pay

in Phones & TV
17 replies 648 views
Hi all,

First time posting so please excuse any "newbie-ness" or mistakes.

I rent in a shared house of four, under a joint tenancy agreement. My housemates are refusing to pay the TV Licence now it is up for renewal, despite having paid it previously. They claim they don't watch any live TV or any programming that comes under the listed regulations on the TV Licensing website (I know they watch the occasional bit of live TV or iPlayer stuff, not that the frequency of this is relevant here particularly), but we do have a Virgin Media subscription (this is primarily for internet purposes, but includes a standard Virgin Media M TV package to reduce the size of the monthly bill). I personally do use live TV services and would happily pay the TV Licence share as usual. My housemates contend they do not wish to pay the TV Licence as they don't feel it justified based on how little they watch/want to dodge paying it to save a few pounds. Their argument is that once investigated, they'll just unplug the aerial from the TV and TV Licensing will see that it's not plugged in and leave us alone.

Now I know that TV Licensing more than likely won't accept that argument as it's ridiculously flimsy and if it worked everyone would do it, but I wonder where I stand on matters personally? Like I mentioned above, I am happy to pay my share of the fee, but I don't think it's fair I should shoulder the entire fee considering I live in a shared house and everyone is bound to use live TV services at some point or another. I should add I recently lost my job due to the pandemic and am claiming UC to support my livelihood, whereas the others living here are all in full time employment.

I would appreciate any advice or support in relation of how to handle this with TV Licensing if they come knocking properly (reminder letters have been received), and where I stand personally. I am concerned I may be fined and worse despite wanting to pay my share of the fee.

Many thanks,
J
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