Q. I am planning on renting my home out for 12 months whilst I go travelling and was going to leave everything behind including my Television. My agent has advised that l would be better to remove the TV as the licence will still have to be paid and I will be liable if the tenant fails to pay it, is this true and if so what do you suggest is the best way forward?
A. 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 license. My advice is either, don’t leave the TV, or If you do, have a special clause added to the tenancy agreement which makes it clear that the tenant is responsible for the TV license, or failing that buy an annual license and add the cost to the rent so your covered for this extra expense. 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 however 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. 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. Where a part of the premises is sub-let, this additional tenancy will also need a license if TVs or receiving equipment are used. 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.