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    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 5th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
    • 118Posts
    • 63Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay my share of the TV licence?
    • #1
    • 5th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I pay my share of the TV licence? 5th Jun 17 at 10:58 AM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    I live in a shared flat and my flatmates want to split the cost of a licence so we can watch live TV. I know I won't use the TV as I'm out a lot and already pay for Netflix. Should I pay up just to keep the peace?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you havenít already, join the forum to reply!

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    Last edited by MSE Luke; 05-06-2017 at 2:52 PM.
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Page 1
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 7th Jun 17, 7:01 AM
    • 5,185 Posts
    • 2,963 Thanks
    John Gray
    • #2
    • 7th Jun 17, 7:01 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Jun 17, 7:01 AM

    "If you've signed a joint tenancy agreement with your housemates, it's likely you'll only need one TV Licence to cover all the TV receiving equipment in your house. So it's a good idea to share the cost.
    If you've signed a separate tenancy agreement and you're using a TV receiving equipment in your room, you'll need a TV Licence of your own."

    Having established the tenancy status and where the TV(s) are located, it's really up to you - do you want to
    • spend £50-odd a year (assuming three people sharing) for a quiet life?
    • put your foot down and refuse to pay?
    • chuck them out and get some non-TV watching flatmates?
    • Edi81
    • By Edi81 7th Jun 17, 7:10 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 309 Thanks
    • #3
    • 7th Jun 17, 7:10 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Jun 17, 7:10 AM
    Pay it.
    There will betimes when you will watch live tv
    • louisewilson6
    • By louisewilson6 7th Jun 17, 8:09 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    • #4
    • 7th Jun 17, 8:09 AM
    Pay it...
    • #4
    • 7th Jun 17, 8:09 AM
    Yes, I think you should pay it. There will undoubtedly be even the odd occasion when you watch live tv, and the facility is there for you regardless of how often you choose to use it.
    It seems a reasonable utility bill and the cost really isn't very much. You don't say how many flatmates you have but the cost could be well under £1 a week. For example, if there are 4 of you in total, the weekly cost each would be 71p. If there are 3 of you in total the cost would be 95p each.
    The small cost is well worth it to be free of any resentment or squabbles, leaves you free to watch tv if you please, and you are already winning if there's something you'd like THEM to contribute to in the future
    Happy viewing! x
    Last edited by louisewilson6; 07-06-2017 at 8:11 AM.
    • liitleblackcat
    • By liitleblackcat 7th Jun 17, 10:07 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    • #5
    • 7th Jun 17, 10:07 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Jun 17, 10:07 AM
    For crying out loud, it's only £2.50 a week - less than the price of a decent coffee - and where do you think all the radio and iplayer programmes come from. Grow up
    • paul k
    • By paul k 7th Jun 17, 10:23 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    paul k
    • #6
    • 7th Jun 17, 10:23 AM
    TV licence
    • #6
    • 7th Jun 17, 10:23 AM
    I would say pay it,there will be times you see the tv on and therefore you are in effect ,viewing it !
    Also if you have a laptop etc and can view catchup tv be it on a phone too,you need a licence.
    I would not want you as a flatmate if you did not pay your share.
    You always get one don't you !! fit in or leave the flat !
    • iclayt
    • By iclayt 7th Jun 17, 10:43 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 823 Thanks
    • #7
    • 7th Jun 17, 10:43 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Jun 17, 10:43 AM
    For the sake of keeping the peace, as you put it, pay it. I don't know about anyone else but in every house or flat share I ever lived in this was just considered a household bill to be split if it was a joint tenancy. Don't be awkward for the sake of it or you'll get a reputation you probably don't deserve.
    • crmism
    • By crmism 7th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
    • 103 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    • #8
    • 7th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
    Certainly not - provided you never at any time sit down with your flatmates and watch what they alone should pay for.

    I assume, in saying this, that you use your own device for watching what you want to see.

    Don't feel bad about it. It's what's called fair play.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 7th Jun 17, 11:50 AM
    • 23,921 Posts
    • 62,333 Thanks
    • #9
    • 7th Jun 17, 11:50 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Jun 17, 11:50 AM
    Of course you should pay a share. It's a facility available to you when ever you want it.

    Do you count your showers and pay a portion of the water bill?
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 7th Jun 17, 12:43 PM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 1,178 Thanks
    Do you all watch (and contribute to) Netflix or is it just you? I'd say if it's just you but everybody uses it then you don't need to pay a share of the license as well.
    • gaving7095
    • By gaving7095 7th Jun 17, 12:46 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 115 Thanks
    Pay it & keep the peace, no question.
    • bairn7
    • By bairn7 7th Jun 17, 12:48 PM
    • 479 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    Contrary to what has been said above, you do not need a TV licence just because you have equipment capable of receiving a live TV signal, otherwise everyone with a computer would need one.

    And ignore the person telling you to grow up. If you genuinely do not ever (even once) watch live TV then do not pay. Its similar to a flatmate having broadband installed and insisting you pay but you do not have a laptop or you access the internet through your phone data.

    If you do not need it, do not pay it.

    I have not had a licence (legally) for years. Haven't missed live TV in the slightest.
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 7th Jun 17, 4:48 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 308 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    If you're out a lot of the time, maybe you should ask for a reduction in your contribution to the electricity bill as well, as you don't have the light on so much.
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 7th Jun 17, 4:53 PM
    • 472 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Mention it to them and see what they say.

    They may be totally fine about you not paying.
    • XRAT
    • By XRAT 7th Jun 17, 5:00 PM
    • 190 Posts
    • 163 Thanks
    Ha, I had this issue in the work common room. I preferred to read the newspaper so I declined to pay for the TV.
    I was quietly reading the paper one day when a group entered, turned on the TV and suggested I should leave as I wasn't paying for the it.
    I got up, switched the TV off and carried on reading.
    Funny.., 8 people in the room all watching a blank screen waiting for someone else to switch it on again.
    • Anja
    • By Anja 7th Jun 17, 6:58 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    If you watch BBC i-player then you need a TV license. I can't believe you don't join the rest of the group to watch it sometimes!
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 7th Jun 17, 11:23 PM
    • 694 Posts
    • 586 Thanks
    If you don't watch any live TV or iplayer or anything else like that, no BBC programmes on your computer or tablet then you shouldn't pay as you're not using that service. Let them split it between those who use it.
    • Hominu
    • By Hominu 9th Jun 17, 9:10 AM
    • 1,650 Posts
    • 868 Thanks
    When I was a flat mate, I contributed towards the cost simply because there was the option of having a night in with friends and watching TV instead of the hassle of going out, plus it only cost me £3/month. If you are never going to do that then save the money.

    Now I have my own house it would cost me £12/month, so I simply told TV Licensing that I don't want a license and use Netflix instead as I've no interest in the BBC programmes or other live TV.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 9th Jun 17, 1:49 PM
    • 3,289 Posts
    • 3,507 Thanks
    Also if you have a laptop etc and can view catchup tv be it on a phone too,you need a licence.
    Originally posted by paul k
    Just to clarify this only applies to BBC I-Player.

    Just because you can do it on a laptop does not mean you do.
    • Bigphil1474
    • By Bigphil1474 9th Jun 17, 2:00 PM
    • 822 Posts
    • 350 Thanks
    Why don't you combine the cost of the TV license with Netflix - that way your flatmates and you can watch both, and you might be better off anyway - if there are 3 of you a third of the TV license and a third of Netflix is gonna be cheaper. Plus if you didn't watch live TV, you'd miss out on all the fun of the next general election coverage.
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