Do Students Need a TV Licence?
Do Students Need a TV Licence?

So you’ve moved out of your family home, you’ve moved to a new city, now you have to start being an adult. This means, and we hate to break it to you, that you will have to start paying for things such as a TV Licence.

What is a TV Licence?

You might not even be aware of what a TV licence is or ever heard of it before. It’s nothing to worry about, it’s basically just a licence that allows you to watch any live television. So you will need this if you are wanting to watch any live sports events, BBC IPlayer, or anything else that is terrestrial, satellite or cable TV- basically any live TV that is being streamed. 

How Much Does A TV Licence Cost?

Currently, a

TV Licence costs £159 a year

. You can pay a year’s TV Licence in one go, or you have the option to spread the cost and pay monthly by direct debit.

What Does a TV Licence Cover?

A licence covers you to watch at home and on the go on your TV, tablet, mobile, computer, console or set-top box. Basically anything that you can watch TV on.

Do Students Need a TV License?

You will need a TV Licence if you have moved away from your family home. So, if you’ve moved away for Uni, unfortunately, you are going to have to pay for a TV Licence. It is £159 for the year, which you pay in a one off payment. This is something you might want to put a bit of money aside for, for when you move in.  No matter what type of accommodation you are living in, you will still have to get a licence, especially if you are wanting to watch any live TV. 

  • Student Halls:

     if you’ve moved into student halls (say you’re in first year of uni), then you will need a TV licence to watch TV in your room. 

  • Shared House or Flat with Separate Tenancy Agreements:

     if you live in a shared flat, which is a set up as a multi-occupancy, so you have signed your own tenancy agreement, you will need to pay for your own TV licence if you are watching TV in your room. 

  • Property With Joint Tenancy:

     If you are in a shared property and you signed a Joint Tenancy all together, then you will need just one TV Licence for the whole place.

How to Pay For Your TV License?

For those that have the money, we recommend paying your TV Licence for the year ahead in one go, and then it’s all out of the way. Alternatively, you can pay every three months or you can pay monthly. So take a look at which type of payment you think will be best for you.

Click Here to Register & Pay For Your TV Licence


Don’t Pay For a Full Year’s TV License If You Don't Need To

What if you decided to buy your TV Licence during the academic year, but you won’t need one for the entire 12 months because you’ve decided to head home once your summer term has finished?

If you paid for the full year, you might be eligible for a TV Licence refund for the time you won’t be there! If you pay your TV Licence bill monthly, simply get in touch with the TV Licensing authority and let them know you’ll no longer need it and to cancel your payments.

You are only eligible for a refund if you’re moving to an address which has a TV Licence already, like your parents’ home. If you’re moving to a new address that isn’t licensed, you will only be able to claim a refund, if you’re no longer planning to need a TV Licence. You can take your TV license with you though, by simply

changing your address


What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your TV License?

If you don’t pay your TV licence when you need one , then you’re at risk of being fine £1000, and no student wants to be hit with that fine at all! It makes the £159 you have to pay not look so bad at all doesn’t it? 

You will probably receive letters from the TV Licencing company, so don’t just ignore these letters. It’s easily done to miss them, but if you continuously ignore them, it’s not good. You will need to let them know whether you actually need a TV Licence or not, and by letting them know, you will (hopefully) stop getting letters from them. 

This sounds very confusing, we know, and it can be hard to tell if you need a TV Licence or not, so you can always ask your landlord if you are a bit unsure. Or, if you really want to, you can just not watch any live TV, but that’s a bit drastic.

Tips & Tricks for Student Living

So now you know the ins and outs of getting a TV License, whether you'll need one, and how much it'll cost you. If you're looking for more advice on student living, check out our

Student Guide To Renting

to learn the ins and outs of renting as a student, what to prepare for, and what to think about. For more advice on life at Uni visit our

Student Advice Hub


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