how do tv licence catch you

How Do TV Licence Catch You & Can You Avoid?

How do TV Licence Catch You – is one of the most asked questions by TV viewers in the United Kingdom.

Most people relax by watching their favourite shows or channels on television.

But sometimes, we might get tempted to do so illegally. This may land you in many serious troubles.

In this comprehensive guide, let us look at how can TV Licensing prove you are watching TV at home illegal.

We will also explain the possible troubles that you may face for not paying the fee in time.

Can TV Licensing Tell If You’re Watching TV?

can tv licensing tell if you're watching tv

Anyone who has a television at home needs a valid Television Licence to access their favourite shows.

Without one, you might be unknowingly breaking the law and thus are eligible for hefty fees. 

Even if you are moving home, you need to keep this in mind.

Most Asked

So, if you are planning on watching your programs without the hassle of paying, you might doubt whether –  

TV Licensing tell if you’re watching TV at home?”

Since pirated shows are becoming rampant nowadays, the Television Licence company has heightened its rules and regulations to their customers.

They have also done a great job of detecting whether you are using your television illegally at home.

How Can TV Licensing Prove You Are Watching TV?

how can tv licensing prove you are watching tv

So how do TV Licence catch you? Or can they do that accurately?

Currently, the company does three robust strategies nationwide in the UK to check whether you are watching programmes on your television screen illegally.

These include the following:

1. Using the National Database

First, we have their ever-so-handy national database. There are approximately 31 million addresses written here.

Whether you have a licence or not, their staff can double-check your eligibility in this file.

2. Through Their Visiting Officers

With their national database on hand, their visiting officers can also determine whether you have a Television receiving equipment in your place.

But in cases where you no longer need a permit, you can also inform them of your cancellation request.

3. Using High Tech Detectors

But aside from these two methods, they can also check if you are using a TV receiving equipment in your place with the help of special high tech equipment.

However, according to their official website, these “high tech” equipment are not revealed to avoid “possible frauds”.

How Would I Know If My Visiting Officer Is Legitimate?

officer legitimate

But of course, letting a stranger in your house may be a bit scary for some.

Fortunately, each visiting officer has the right knowledge and training when handling these kinds of situations.

After all they are respectable official doing their job.

You would know whether they have the authority to visit your home if they show you their two-part ID card.

You should be able to see the company’s logo, name, and unique six digit card number.

What Happens During Their Visit?

So, what happens when a visiting officer enters your house?

First, they will inform you of the reason for their visit.

Don’t worry because most of them are polite and respectful and observe proper etiquette every time they meet you.

Once they enter your premises, they will conduct a quick visit around your house to check if you have a TV receiving equipment.

They would then interview you and ask for your signature afterwards.

They do this step for security and verification purposes.

It is also to ensure that they have an accurate account of your interview.

How Can I Tell If I Am Breaking the Law?

breaking the law

But how would you know if you are breaking the law?

According to TV Licence, these are people who watch and record shows on the television or through any online streaming platform like iPlayer without a valid licence.

This regulation also strictly applies to your computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, and game console.

If you come to violate one of the rules of the telecommunication company, you might face prosecution.

But that option is one of the last resorts because the company will offer you alternatives.

However, you will get prosecuted if at least one of these applies to you:

  • You have a TV licensing conviction.
  • You made wrong declaration of TV licence not needed.
  • You have said that you don’t want to pay the licence fee even if you need one.
  • You failed to comply with the requirements for any justification to prosecution.

How Do TV Licence Catch You For Non Payment?

non payment of tv licence fee

If you are from England or Wales, most cases will go through the Single Justice Procedure (SJP).

This notice means that a magistrate will decide your case without the need to go to the court.

Once you receive this letter, you would need to make a guilty or not guilty plea online.

If you plead guilty, you need to provide information to support your decision.

On the other hand, if you say that you are not guilty, you should provide witnesses and evidence to back up your claim.

You can get their standard licence for £157.50 and their black and white one for as low as £53.

But if you choose to watch, record, and download catch up and live programmes illegally, you can pay a fine of up to £1,000 (may vary case to case).

Quick Note 

They can also place a victim surcharge of 10%, resulting in a fee of around £30.

Watching Your Favorite Shows at Home

Watching your favourite programmes using your television is among the most relaxing activities to do at home.

But in the UK, you would need a registered licence to gain access to these shows legally.

If you think you can overcome the government’s rules and regulations, we hope that this article clears that thought.

Remember, the company conducts various methods on how TV Licence catch you if you do not have a valid permit.

So, we suggest you watch moderately and legally to avoid paying hefty penalties in the future.

Our Advice: Always follow rules & avoid penalties.

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