Students’ TV Licence trap: plug your laptop in to watch TV and risk £1000 fine –

A spokesman said: “The provision in the legislation (about equipment being powered by its own batteries) is the same provision which enables someone to be covered to watch television on any equipment used away from their address as long as they have a licence at home.

“This means you’re covered to watch TV on your phone or laptop for example, when you’re on the go. If you plug the equipment in, the provision no longer applies. This [is] due to the way in which TV Licensing legislation is drafted.”

You will need a TV licence if you intend to watch live programmes or BBC iPlayer while at university. If you have a shared tenancy agreement one licence should cover the entire property, but if your tenancy agreement covers only your room you will need a licence of your own.

It costs £147 a year, but you can apply for a refund if you don’t need it to cover the entire year. The maximum fine for watching live TV without a TV licence is £1,000.


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