TV licensing Loophole Involves Withdrawing Implied Right to Access? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

14 Mar 2013 - Article No: 1693. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

collected March 2013

collected March 2013

The above messages assert or imply that UK TV owners can "opt out" of purchasing a TV license by withdrawing the implied right to access of TV Licensing officers.

However the messages are misleading. You cannot simply opt out of buying a TV license. If you live in the UK and own and operate equipment in order to receive television signals (such as a TV/Digital Setup) then you are required by law to purchase/own an appropriate TV license.

What the messages above actually describe is how those who do not own televisions or digital boxes can stop being contacted (or some claim harassed) via the letters, calls and visits made by TV Licensing officers, since addresses that do not hold a current TV License are often under high scrutiny from them.

Of course the messages above also could provide a method for those that do own TVs to try and avoid paying for a TV License – but it should be noted that whilst withdrawing the right of access to your property does stop TV Licensing from visiting your house, it does not mean you have legally opted out of purchasing a TV License. You are still breaking the law if you watch television broadcasts and have not purchased a license, and you are still liable to be fined and/or prosecuted if caught.

It should also be noted that withdrawing the right of access to your property does not mean that TV Licensing cannot investigate you in other ways. TV Licensing officers reserve the right to use detection equipment, magistrate appointed search warrants and other investigative techniques that do not rely on contacting the property occupant. This means following the advice in the message is certainly no guarantee that you will not be prosecuted and/or fined for not owning a TV license when you should.

Whilst many do not agree with the TV License in the UK and would love the chance of opting out of the License fee, there is no legal way of doing that, unless of course you stop watching television or meet the criteria to be exempt.

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