Boat owners warned not to get caught in TV Licensing trap

By Staff reporter in Community News

WITH increasing numbers deciding to choose a life on water, TV Licensing is urging boat dwellers in Abergavenny to ensure they are correctly licensed to watch TV.

 More than a quarter of today’s 33,000 boats moored on UK waterways are used as primary residences as opposed to ten years ago when it was just 10 per cent.

 By law, residential boat owners need a TV Licence to watch live television, or catch up TV on BBC iPlayer. This is true no matter what device is used, how the programmes are received, or whether the boat is cruising or moored. 

Richard Chapman, spokesperson for TV Licensing in Wales, said, “A life afloat has become an appealing option for many, so it is important boat owners understand the same rules apply when it comes to watching TV. We don’t want anyone to be caught out of their depth if they are found watching live TV, or BBC programmes on iPlayer, on board without a valid licence. If caught, boat owners face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.”?

Beryl McDowall, General Secretary of the Residential Boat Owners’ Association (RBOA), said, “There are many things to consider when taking the plunge and moving to a life on water. These include sorting out a boat licence, surveying costs, safety certificates, as well as insurance. 

“It’s also important boat owners understand all of the legal responsibilities, which include getting a TV Licence if their boat is their main residence – we don’t want anyone to get caught out.”

 Canal boat owners should visit for more information about when a licence is needed.

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