Please Note: This Article is 9 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

If you supply a TV for your tenants you as landlord share responsibility with the tenant for ensuring that there is a TV license. You could be landed with a hefty fine if your tenant fails to pay for a TV licenses. Follow the rules and recommendations below and you should be OK.

Key Points:

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Landlord Guide

  • Either, don’t provide TVs, or
  • If you do, have a tenant proposal form and lease agreement which make it clear that the tenant is responsible for the TV license, or
  • Buy an annual license and add the cost to the rent or service charges.


If you provide a TV in your rental premises and your tenants use it then you can both be held responsible for paying for a license! If the lease makes it clear that the tenant is responsible for buying the TV License then the landlord’s risk is considerably reduced, though not entirely – ultimately both parties are open to prosecution.


Tenants should ensure that a TV used in a rental property is properly licensed, even if it is supplied by the landlord. Where several tenants share a property and have their own TVs then one of the following applies:

  • Under separate tenancy agreements all tenants will need their own licenses
  • If it’s a joint tenancy then only one license is needed.


Lodgers need a separate TV license if they have their own TV in a bedroom, the exceptions being:

  • If the lodger is a family member.
  • If the lodger lives in the same household due to a relationship (e.g. common law relationships)If the lodger is employed by the household (e.g. au pair, housekeeper, cook).


Students are in the same position as any other tenant, if they have a TV set (or Computer which receives TV broadcasts) in their room and it is used they have to have a license. Their TV set is not covered by their parent’s license as many might imagine.


If a business has a TV set/s or computers used for receiving TV broadcasts then they need a license. In commercial premises this is quite clearly the tenant’s responsibility though as a precaution the lease should make this clear.

Where a part of the premises is sub-let, this additional tenancy will also need a license if TVs or receiving equipment are used.


There are special rules for hotels, hostels and residential care homes – see the TV Licensing Agency site.

TV Dealers

Remember that TV dealers must by law inform the TV Licensing Agency of all sales of TV receiving equipment within 28 days of the sale.

Please Note: This Article is 9 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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