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AIBU?

WIBU to not let the tv licensing inspectors in?

111 replies

RevoltingPeasant · 04/09/2013 22:04

DH and I have never had a tv, and we periodically get the letters threatening to come around, fine us, throw us into a dungeon etc. No one ever actually has come to the house.

Today when we got back from work there was a note through the door saying they'd been to look around and as we were out, they'd come back.

I have already let them know we don't have a tv. I don't really like the idea of some total stranger wandering through my house, especially going into bedrooms, which I guess they must do as lots of people have tvs there. Also, I'm not the sort of person who's scared of "strange men" but it seems to me it would be so easy for someone to create a fake id and then try to gain entry to,the house. I wouldn't really fancy letting someone in for these reasons.

They may not come back, but if they do, WIBU to refuse entry? Is this illegal? Or would you let them in?

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McNewPants2013 · 04/09/2013 22:07

Yanbu.

I thought they had specialist devices that can be used outside the home to detect this.

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Isabeller · 04/09/2013 22:07

I was in this situation a few years ago and although annoying decided to phone and explain no ariel and no tv. Periodically reoccurred but easy enough to deal with by phone. It might be possible to email via their website.

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MrsTedMosby · 04/09/2013 22:08

www.televisionlicence.info/tvl/inspectors

You don't have to let them in. I had one round the other day (direct debit got cancelled by bank and I forgot to reinstate it) He was perfectly nice, noticed I was in my pyjamas - it was Sunday morning, and said he wouldn't come in. But then I have a TV, and it was quite obvious (it was blaring in the background as the kids were watching it)

But still, if you don't want to let them in, then tell them.

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LessMissAbs · 04/09/2013 22:08

They need a proper search warrant to gain entry, so YANBU. I think their work counts on coercion and intimidation. They need evidence to prosecute, so good luck to them! (I was being sarcastic there, I object to paying a license to the BBC, only for them to sack capable women once they hit their mid forties and keep on boring old men well past their best, but I digress).

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SweetSeraphim · 04/09/2013 22:08

I got busted once for not having a licence Blush

He sort of read me my rights on the doorstep as I recall, but I don't think they have any kind of a warrant, although I could be wrong.

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McNewPants2013 · 04/09/2013 22:10

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FreckleyGirlAbroad · 04/09/2013 22:11

I agree with lessmiss. They need to have a court-issued warrant to enter your home, but just expect people to let them in through fear and flashing an official badge.

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BerylStreep · 04/09/2013 22:14

I had this before - no tv (2nd home), had told them, kept receiving increasingly threateningly letters, stating they had called round to the house and they would be back.

TV licensing have no power of entry without a warrant, and they need to have reasonable grounds to obtain one. Being refused entry is not, on its own, reasonable grounds.

You could of course, write to them stating that you intend to report them for harassment if they don't stop, given that you have already explicitly stated that you do not have a TV.

Of course, loads of people tell TV licensing that they don't have a TV.

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RevoltingPeasant · 04/09/2013 22:24

Thanks all. isabeller but I have told them, several times. By email and phone. They know we have told them, they are just trying it on.

I get there are people who lie about this, but I'm not one of them. I feel pretty much like I do about stop and search- it's a sledgehammer approach, and I don't think innocent people should put up with the harassment and intrusion because a small percentage of people break the law. I'd pay if I had a tv, but I don't.

Has anyone let them in? What do they do? If it was just the living room wouldn't be wild about it but I might let them. But not upstairs!

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Graciescotland · 04/09/2013 22:25

I had one come around to a flat I was doing up. He said he only needed to see the living room to confirm no tv.

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Charlesroi · 04/09/2013 22:32

Also, you don't need a licence to own a tv. You need one if you watch or record tv as it is being broadcast.

They have no right to snnop round your home, but if they feel they do they can obtain a warrant to do so )which they won't get). Just shut the door and ignore them in future, as you are not breaking the law.

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halfwayupthehill · 04/09/2013 22:33

I have had this. They do not take no for an answer. I wrote to them to withdraw the implied consent for them to come up my garden path. (ie what postmen and visitors rely on). That means if they knock on your front door they are trespassing, they acknowledged my letter and said they would not send anyone round but would continue to send letters (which are harrassing and now threaten a visit.) their inspections are bullying and pointless. You need a license if you watch tv as it is being broadcast on any device. You do not need it to have a tv just to watch dvds,eg. But you would if you watch tv live on your computer. As many homes have mobiles, computers etc. Their visits make no sense.

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halfwayupthehill · 04/09/2013 22:34

I have had this. They do not take no for an answer. I wrote to them to withdraw the implied consent for them to come up my garden path. (ie what postmen and visitors rely on). That means if they knock on your front door they are trespassing, they acknowledged my letter and said they would not send anyone round but would continue to send letters (which are harrassing and now threaten a visit.) their inspections are bullying and pointless. You need a license if you watch tv as it is being broadcast on any device. You do not need it to have a tv just to watch dvds,eg. But you would if you watch tv live on your computer. As many homes have mobiles, computers etc. Their visits make no sense.

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CoconutRing · 04/09/2013 22:35

The reason why they want to look around your house is that they don't have any fancy equipment in their vans. They rely on a database that matches licences to addresses.

Years ago, when I didn't have a TV (too poor), I had threatening letters and visits. I lived in an isolated, detached cottage. One evening, a man from TV licencing demanded to enter my home. He told me I was watching BBC2!! My DH invited him in and he went from room to room searching for my elusive TV. When he eventually acknowledged our lack of TV, I asked him to explain how we could be watching BBC2. He said it must be our neighbours signal he picked up. I pointed out to him that our nearest neighbour was 5 miles away! Was his equipment that sensitive! I don't think so!

Don't let the twats in!

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saintlyjimjams · 04/09/2013 22:37

snap seraphim - I was at college & he stood on the threshold of my room and read me my rights.

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ivykaty44 · 04/09/2013 22:38

you do not have to let them in unless they have a warrant and police with them - so don't open the door and tellthem through the door to get a warrent like anyone else and then come back.

Or just write to tv licensing and withdraw intended rights of access. google it for a template letter and send recorded delivery for £1.70 and then they write one letter and cna't come on your property or they are breaking the law

i have had to do this this week for my father - after 13 years of letters every month and two visits it is beyond reasonable.

he put at the bootm of the letter - ps I have had enough of your bullying

The last man that came round didn't actually come in the house - he didn't ask and my father didn't offer. he promised that the letters would stop etc but they havn't.

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kim147 · 04/09/2013 22:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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FannyBazaar · 04/09/2013 22:40

You have to confirm to them every two years or so that you still don't have a TV. I've been dealing with my post which has accumulated on the 'too boring' pile over the summer and have a load of letters from them and at least one 'we called but you were out, we'll call again' card. I've had a few calling cards over the years but never actually been home to greet anyone.

I went online to confirm once again that I don't have a TV but instead I chose the option something like 'check if my house has a no tv declaration', which simply generates another letter...argh, for the good of the environment I need to call and get these endless letters to stop for a couple of years. Sorry but this task keeps falling back onto the 'too boring' pile.

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Talkinpeace · 04/09/2013 22:42

OP
You may not have a TV, but do you ever watch live TV on a laptop, phone, wii or other device
as if you do, you need a licence

if you only watch iplayer and dvds you are OK, but anything live and you have to cough up

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ladygoingGaga · 04/09/2013 22:45

If you are fed up of the harassment of letters and visits, let them in for two minutes, they will see you have no TV, end of problem.

I understand you say you are law abiding, the how do the inspectors know that?? They can't tell the difference between who is telling the truth and who isn't.

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ivykaty44 · 04/09/2013 22:46

www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-administering-the-tv-licensing-system-part-2-ab20/


TV Licensing may also apply to a magistrate (or sheriff in Scotland) for a search warrant. However, this is only done as a last resort and when a senior manager and a legal adviser considers that there is good reason to believe that an offence has been committed.

i love the above

what it means is:

we have to prove to a judge that you have a tv and we need a warrant to search your address - it sisn't up to us but a judge in a court, But we will let you think it is us that decide this things....

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ivykaty44 · 04/09/2013 22:50

What is TV Licensing?s policy on search warrants?
Our policy regarding search warrants is to:
ensure sufficient evidence of an offence to justify an application for a search warrant being made (as a last resort in cases where other options have been exhausted)
apply for a search warrant where sufficient evidence is obtained
ensure that search warrants are executed with respect for people and property and in accordance with the directions of the court.


It is not their polices at all - it is the law of the land Grin

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Lethologica · 04/09/2013 22:51

Let them in, they will have a quick look and leave. I would and it wouldn't bother me at all.
Why does it bother you? Is it really an inconvenience?

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Lethologica · 04/09/2013 22:52

Sorry my post sounded stroppy Blush.

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ouryve · 04/09/2013 22:54

YANBU. When I'd been without a TV for almost a decade, I told them that i wouldn't let them in without a warrant. You don't get treated like a criminal for not having car insurance when you don't own or drive a car, so why should you for not having a TV?

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