TV Licensing: ensure your home is licensed if you are thinking of joining the ‘hosting’ revolution

Many families are booking accommodation through hosting sites, but could be held responsible if the home does not have a TV Licence

Many families are booking accommodation through hosting sites, but could be held responsible if the home does not have a TV Licence

1
Have your say

With increasing numbers of travellers turning to hosting sites such as Airbnb, Flipkey and One Fine Stay, TV Licensing is appealing to hosts and would-be hosts in Northern Ireland to make sure they are correctly licensed before welcoming guests to their property over the Halloween Break.

Whether you are renting out a spare room or letting out your whole property, a licence is needed if guests are watching or recording TV programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV.

For many homeowners sharing their space with guests, the cost of a TV Licence is the same as for a private house - £145.50 a year.

A wide range of people are turning to the online marketplace to supplement their income, including empty-nesters with a spare room and city-based dwellers with high rent. There are over 25,000 listings across the UK on Airbnb alone.

In Northern Ireland there are more than 500 properties available including a garden loft complete with hot tub and city views in Belfast, a modern yet rural retreat in Ballymena and a quirky shepherd’s hut in Magheraveely, Co Fermanagh.

As well as checking TV Licence requirements, would-be hosts looking to take advantage of the demand for a friendly and cost-effective place to stay should be mindful of all the legal requirements needed to host guests safely and responsibly, including house rules, fire prevention and minimizing any hazards, so that the hosting experience runs smoothly.

Caoimhe Moore, spokesperson for TV Licensing Northern Ireland, said: “Our enquiry officers visit unlicensed properties, and any responsible adult at the home can be held responsible. To save an embarrassing and difficult situation for your guests, you need to make sure that the property is covered by a valid TV Licence if your guests can watch or record live TV on any device at your property. With a TV Licence you are covered to watch TV on a computer, mobile phone, tablet or games console.”

For more information about when a licence is needed, visit tvlicensing.co.uk/info