FOI: Policies

The most commonly requested TV Licensing policies and related queries are listed below. Please note that some information contained in these policies is redacted under specified exemptions contained in the Freedom of Information Act.

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Where can I find further information on how my personal data will be used?

Please refer to the TV Licensing Privacy Policy for further information as to how TV Licensing will use any data that you provide.

What is your policy for dealing with addresses that don’t use television equipment and therefore don’t require a TV Licence?

No Licence Needed Policy (PDF 82 kb opens in a new window)

The BBC Television Licensing No Licence Needed policy deals with occupied premises where the occupier has declared that there is no television receiving equipment being used at the address to show television programmes. See how to tell us you don't watch or record TV for more information.

What is your refund policy?

Refund policy (PDF 197 kb opens in a new window)

The BBC Television Licensing Refunds policy outlines the BBC’s policy (as applied by its agents) in relation to refunding licence fee payments.

A TV Licence is a legal permission to install and use a television receiver. The fee for that permission is payable in full, regardless of the length of time that the Licence will be needed.

There is no legal requirement for a refund to be made, but the BBC believes that it is appropriate in certain circumstances that refunds be given. The BBC has greatly extended the opportunity for refunds since it became the licensing authority in 1991, when refunds were only payable if a person ceased to use television within the first 28 days of purchasing the licence. See Cancellations and refunds for more information.

How many refunds have been given by TV Licensing over the last nine years?

The number of refunds given by TV Licensing over the last nine financial years are as follows:

Year No. of refunds
2014/15 191,602
2013/14 206,947
2012/13 236,990
2011/12 257,532
2010/11 244,583
2009/10 194,823
2008/09 189,669
2007/08 184,338
2006/07 208,607
What is your policy that deals with premises that are unoccupied, and therefore don’t require a TV Licence?

Licensable places policy (PDF file 130 Kb opens in a new window)

The BBC Television Licensing Licensable Places policy defines what is a ‘licensable place’ for the purposes of implementing Part 4 of the Communications Act 2003 and the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004.

If TV Licensing is advised that an address is unoccupied it puts a stop (or ‘guard’) on enquiry letters being sent to that address normally for between three and six months. Experience has shown that unoccupied addresses usually become re-occupied in that time.

When an address is unoccupied for an extended period, TV Licensing can place a longer stop on communications as appropriate. In most cases this will be for up to one year, but the stop on contact can be re-applied at the end of the period if the circumstances remain the same.

What is your policy on changing the address on a TV Licence?

The BBC Television Licensing Change of Address policy deals with circumstances where the licensed address on a TV Licence may be changed.

A TV Licence can only be transferred to another address if the change is permanent and within the lifetime of the Licence. If the change of address sought is not permanent (e.g. a request to move the Licence to a holiday home) the request will be refused.

A TV Licence allows the installation and use of TV equipment at the licensed place or premises – i.e. the ‘licensed address’ shown on the face of the TV Licence – by anyone who normally lives or works there.

What is your Prosecution policy?

TV Licensing Prosecution Policy (PDF 70 Kb opens in a new window)

 

The Policy for TV Licensing Prosecutions sets out the criteria for whether an individual or business should be prosecuted or reported to the appropriate authority. The prosecution process and how prosecution can be avoided is outlined in the TV Licensing Prosecution Code.

What is your Prosecution Code?

TV Licensing Prosecution Code (PDF 118 Kb opens in a new window)

The TV Licensing Prosecution Code outlines our prosecution process in England and Wales. The code also describes how prosecution may be avoided in certain circumstances. Subject to the variations set out below this principle applies across the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man:

  • In Northern Ireland and the IOM, once a summons has been issued, if proceedings are to be stopped, the cost of serving the summons must also be paid in addition to paying the licence fee in full.
  • In Scotland, once a case has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal, TV Licensing is no longer able to influence the decision regarding whether the prosecution continues or not.
  • In the Channel Islands, cases are reported to the island authorities 8 weeks after the visit. The time frame in which to make the minimum payment to avoid prosecution is therefore reduced from 12 weeks to 8 weeks. Once a case has been reported to the relevant Island authorities TV Licensing is no longer able to influence the decision regarding whether the prosecution continues or not.
What is your policy on supporting vulnerable customers?

TV Licensing Vulnerable Customers Policy (PDF 107 Kb opens in a new window)

TV Licensing recognises that some people are vulnerable due to their personal circumstances. As we have contact with almost every address in the UK, it is important that we make reasonable adjustments and provide additional support when required to enable us to interact appropriately with vulnerable customers.

Our Vulnerable Customers Policy describes our approach towards these customers and how we support them.

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