You need a TV Licence to watch or record TV programmes, irrespective of what channel you're watching, what device you are using (TV, computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, games console, or any other), and how you receive them (aerial, satellite, cable, via the Internet or any other way). If you don't have a licence you risk prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000. This includes downloading or watching BBC programmes on demand or catch-up on BBC iPlayer and applies to any device and provider you use.
So, if you are living in Halls of Residence for example, and you watch or record TV as it is being shown on TV in your room, or use iPlayer to watch BBC programmes on demand or catch-up, you will need to have your own TV Licence.
But what of shared accommodation? Well, in some cases you and your flatmates will each require your own separate licence for the TVs in your rooms, and in others one licence may be sufficient between all your flatmates, regardless of the number of devices in the property. The tenancy agreement on your property is often a good indication of this. For example:
- If you have a separate tenancy agreement, but a television is only being used in a communal area, then only one licence is required.
- If you are sharing a house with other students and you use a TV in your own room, but the house can be treated as one place shared by all, then only one TV Licence is required (a joint tenancy agreement would usually be evidence that the house is a single licensable place for this purpose).
You can find answers to more TV Licencing FAQs on their website here.