TV Licensing: Ensure your home is licensed if you are thinking of joining the ‘hosting’ revolution

With increasing numbers of travellers turning to hosting sites such as Airbnb, Flipkey and One Fine Stay, TV Licensing is appealing to hosts and would-be hosts in across the UK to make sure they are correctly licensed before welcoming guests to their property over the August Bank Holiday.

Whether you are renting out a spare room or letting out your whole property, a licence is needed if guests are watching or recording TV programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV.

For many homeowners sharing their space with guests, the cost of a TV Licence is the same as for a private house - £145.50 a year.

A wide range of people are turning to the online marketplace to supplement their income, including empty-nesters with a spare room and city-based dwellers with high rent. There are over 25,000 listings across the UK on Airbnb alone.

As well as checking TV Licence requirements, would-be hosts looking to take advantage of the demand for a friendly and cost-effective place to stay should be mindful of all the legal requirements needed to host guests safely and responsibly, including house rules, fire prevention and minimizing any hazards, so that the hosting experience runs smoothly.

Jason Hill, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said:

Our enquiry officers visit unlicensed properties, and any responsible adult at the home can be held responsible. To save an embarrassing and difficult situation for your guests, you need to make sure that the property is covered by a valid TV Licence if your guests can watch or record live TV on any device at your property. With a TV Licence you are covered to watch TV on a computer, mobile phone, tablet or games console.

Morena Oliveira, spokesperson for One Fine Stay added:

For our guests, access to a characterful home in a charming neighbourhood brings an authentic experience of city travel.

And while some love to curl up with a book after exploring the local area, it's always nice to come home and watch the big game with the whole family. No matter which one of the two, we want our guests to have an unforgettable stay – and so do our hosts.

For more information about when a licence is needed, visit

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