Sheltered accommodation

As a manager of sheltered accommodation, you need to make sure that your organisation is covered by a valid TV Licence if residents watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV. This includes the use of devices such as a TV, computer, mobile phone, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

The management of the sheltered accommodation is responsible for ensuring that a valid TV Licence covers all communal areas. It costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence.

Residents need a separate licence for their own living area. However, sheltered accommodation may qualify for the Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) scheme. This may entitle residents to a reduced fee TV Licence of £7.50. There is also a free Over 75 ARC licence available if any of your residents are over 75 and don’t already have one.

How to qualify for the ARC scheme

For your sheltered accommodation to be considered for the ARC scheme, it needs to comply with the following conditions:

It must provide for the accommodation of residents who are:

  • Either retired people aged 60 years or more
  • Or disabled people

For ‘almshouses’, it should have been established as such prior to the 1st November 1949. Any property established on or after this date must meet all the requirements for ‘sheltered accommodation’.

It must be provided or managed by one of the following:

  • A body that is registered under Part II of the Housing Act 1985
  • A housing association as defined in the Housing Associations Act 1985
  • A development corporation as defined in the New Towns Act 1981

It must form a group of at least four dwellings that comply with the following conditions:

  • They were erected or converted to provide sheltered accommodation
  • There is a person (such as a warden) who is employed to care for residents' needs and lives in the home or works on site for a minimum of 30 hours each week
  • They lie within a common and exclusive boundary


Renewing an ARC Licence

Please note that the requirements for sheltered accommodation differ in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

To find out more please contact 0300 790 6011.