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TV Licences in Care Homes: Everything You Need to Know

A care home resident watching TV

If you’ll soon be making the move to a residential care home, there are a few things you’ll want to sort out before you go. If you want to carry on watching your favourite soap, catch up with the daily news or enjoy a film or two of an evening, one of the main things to look into will be a TV licence. 

So, how do TV licences work in a care home? Do you need to buy one? Read on for our guide to TV licences in care homes and find out all you’ll need to know…

Do I need a TV licence in a care home?

If you are going to have a TV in your own room you will need a full licence.

If you’re planning to only watch TV in communal areas, then you don’t need to buy your own TV licence. It is the duty of the care home manager to make sure that residents, staff and guests are covered by a TV licence while watching television at the home. 

Moving an existing TV licence to a care home

If you’re planning to take your own TV to the care home to use in your bedroom, you will need to move your existing TV licence to the care home address. This is a requirement of the Department of Work and Pension. You can either update your details online, or send the Department an email. Make sure to pass on your existing licence number, your old address, your new address – which will be the full address of your care home – and your room number at the home.  

If you are moving to a care home and transferring over a licence, you must let the Department of Work and Pension know whether there is anyone still living in your old home, as they may need to take out a new TV licence. 

I’m not taking a TV – what then? 

If you’re not taking a TV, you don’t need to worry about a licence. If there are still people living in your home, you can leave your TV licence at that property. If no one is living at the property, you must contact the Department of Work and Pension to let them know the property is empty and to cancel the licence.

Watching TV in communal areas

Most accommodation for residential care will provide a communal area for residents to enjoy watching TV together. Some care homes may even provide private TVs in bedrooms as well! You don’t need a TV licence for this, the care home will take care of it.

Moving a free over 75 licence

If you have a free over 75 TV licence, people still at the property can use it if they were living there before you moved – and also if the home was your main address, rather than a second home. Once this licence expires, whoever is still living at the property will need to renew it, or purchase a new TV licence. 

How to get a TV licence

If you watch, download or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device; either live, on catch up or on demand, you will need a TV licence. You can apply for a TV licence through the TV licensing website, which will ask you for all your details such as your address, to help you get set up. A standard TV licence will cost you £159, or £53.50 if you have a black and white TV. 

Visit the TV licensing website here: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk

Once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to catch all your favourite shows on your TV, computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Watching TV without a licence can land you a hefty fine, so if you’re unsure how to get started, ask a family member or friend to help you out. 

How to get a free TV licence: over 75s

You can get a free over 75 TV Licence if you are 75 years or older and you are the licence holder, or if you or a partner living at the same address receive Pension Credit. You can request an application form through TV Licensing; either online or by telephone. 

Getting an ARC concessionary TV licence: under 75s

If you are under 75 but living in a residential care home or sheltered accommodation you might be able to get a concessionary licence (reduction on your licence fees) with the ARC concessionary TV Licence. To find out if you are eligible and apply for an ARC licence, speak to the care home management or staff.


See here for more details: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/faqs/FAQ78

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