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Why Do I Have to Pay for a TV License in the UK When I Don’t Live There? – Ada

Written by Jon Emge

“Hi Jon

I was in the UK from 2013 until Feb 2016. I have returned to my home country now. Before returning I had stayed over a relative’s flat during the transition. I have registered her address as a forwarding address for my UK bank and university corresponds. Towards the end of my stay the TV licencing guy came knocking at my door but I told him I am leaving the country and I do not watch TV. He made me sign something – he said just for information. Since this would made him go away I just put my name down however not my full name as per passport.

2 months ago my relative said that there was a guy came knocking at her flat and demanding payment for some debt under my name and threatening to take her possessions.

I was given his number and I called. He said it was for a summon for TV licence. I said I am back in my home country why do I have to pay for TV licence.

I demanded to know the details of payment of the £822, he said he is just collecting the debt. I have no idea why its that much – i thought TV licence are just about £150pa.

Do I even have to entertain this people?

Can he force himself into my relative’s flat?

Do I have to pay for something which is not my fault?

Can I be stopped at the airport if I decide to come back?

Can I call him not to harass my relative or can I say that my relative have the right to sue them for harassment?

What if its a court order – since the TV people may thought that I have been using a TV at my relative’s house. FYI, its my relative’s holiday flat and the are only there 3-4 times a year for 2 weeks at a time. I know they have a TV but its for DVDs.

If I were to call TV licencing to get details and they still insist that I have to pay them.

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Can I just ignore this ie not deal with it as the name was not even my full name? I dont intend to pay or deal with something like this since I heard TV licencing people like to make people pay for a TV licence even if they dont need one.

Ada”

Ada,

I have a couple of question as to your situation to help me gain more information.

Did you ever have a TV licence when you were in the UK?

You are correct that a TV licence is £145.50 per year, as to why the person who came to your relative’s home stated you owed £822 is questionable.

Did you have any other accounts or debts you left in the UK?

Do your relatives have a TV licence?

You can contact the TV licencing bureau and inquire as to if you owe any money.

You may wish to contact this person collecting and ask for documentation be sent to you showing the amount owed and the original creditor. It may be a case of mistaken identity, who knows.

Only Bailiffs can force entry onto a property, and for them to do so they need to either have entered the property prior and done an accounting, or for some fines they can force entry.

If you really do owe money for a TV licence, there have been reports of people being detained from leaving the UK. This is not widespread, and may have been stopped due to complaints. I have not heard of any reports for sometime now.

If a TV is in a property, even if not lived in year round, a TV licence is required. If someone uses a computer and accesses the BBC iPlayer, a TV licence is now required.

I would be curious as to what it was you signed and what it stated.

See what additional information you can obtain about the money owed and get back to me so we can look at this in more depth.

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Regards,

Jon

About the author

Jon Emge

Jon Emge is an experienced UK debt advisor who has helped thousands and thousands of people in the UK to deal with problem debt. Jon specialises in finding good solutions for problem debt using a variety of UK specific techniques.

If you have a question you’d like to ask about how to get out of UK debt, just use the online form.

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