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TV licence collectors and implied right of access

Infinity
Pro
Posts: 5,601
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Registered: 19-06-2011

TV licence collectors and implied right of access

Just getting ready to return to the UK this weekend, when I received a worrying phone call from an elderly relative, about an official looking unsealed letter pushed through their letterbox.
It implied they had not got a TV License.
They read out the details to myself, it did appear to be a genuine warning letter, but on closer examination, it stated several warning letters had been sent and ignored.
The whole tone of the letter was threatening.
However, when they re-read the addressee, it all became clear.
The letter envelope ( hand written at the door it would seem, whilst you were out..) was addressed to The Occupier, the house number was correct, part of the address was correct, ie Fred, but it read as Fred St., whereas the actual address is St. Fred Court !!
And no postcode.
So an obvious cock-up by the person who was checking for license fee dodgers !!
The actual Fred St is several streets away from relatives' St. Fred Court...
I told the relative not to worry, if they came back, to point out all the errors.
And to dig out their copy of the TV License, which I actually pay for, for all our elderly relatives.
(Having worked for the BBC, it was a sackable offence if you did not have a TV License)
And specifically to quote they had no legal implied right of access, and to contact the BBC if it happens again, with a possible claim for harassment.
As it is, it is not actually the BBC these days that chase license fees...
Although they are officially named ‘enforcement officers’, TV Licensing staff – who are employed by private firm Capita on the BBC’s behalf – do not possess any official powers of arrest and cannot enter homes or search property without permission.

Anyway, we'll be back home at the weekend to go and reassure the relative.
I does annoy me though that such simple checking did not occur, such as turning up at the correct address !!
I will of course be chasing this up.
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: TV licence collectors and implied right of access

Could just be an excuse to gain entrance to the house. One guy checks the TV and another ransacks the house looking for cash!
Best advise your rellie not to let anyone in regardless of what/who they say they are.
Geoff,
York.
alanf
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: TV licence collectors and implied right of access

Many years ago my parents received a visit from the police. It had been reported that a malicious phone call had been made from their address.
They lived at No.  x Something Road. The alleged offenders address turned out to be Flat x,  No. y Something Road.
It was easy for my parents to prove their innocence. In those days they didn't even have a phone in the house! (and this was before mobile phones)
Moderator
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: TV licence collectors and implied right of access

A similar situation to alanf....
Around 40 years ago the police raided hour house at around 7 am looking for stolen property. I was still in bed and my dad at work and my mum had a difficult time with it all.
It turned out that the address they should have raided was 33 and we were 53 - someone's writing was obviously very poor Sad We did, eventually, get an apology.

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itsme
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Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: TV licence collectors and implied right of access

I can give many examples of address mix up and I'm the person knocking on the door. The ones I can never understand are correct house name, correct street/road, incorrect town/village.
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: TV licence collectors and implied right of access

30 years ago my wife and I rented a private property.
One of the conditions on the rental was that we didn't sub-let the property.
We came home one Saturday after shopping and it became immediately obvious that someone had been in the property and searched it.
There was no sign of forced entry with nothing missing and we reported the incident to the police and the landlady.
The landlady told us she suspected we were sub-letting the property and had been in to look for evidence such as a utility bill with a different name on.
We told this to the police and they said as it was her property no law had been broken.
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Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: TV licence collectors and implied right of access

i rented a house in torquay some years ago and the first thing i did after moving in was change the cylinder on the surface lock.  sure enough, a couple of days later, i heard someone attempting to insert a key in the lock.  when i opened the door it was the landlady, who was none too pleased when i told her that she had no right of entry and was required to give me 21 days notice, in writing, if she wished to inspect the property.
i set about finding somewhere else to live and didn't revert the lock, just to mess with her.