Tv licence ‘search warrant’ threat

cmalone

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My tenants have shown me letter they received at house from tv licence- an post. They are just 2 months in house and don’t have a licence yet ...

the letter name of a previous tenant (he lived there over 6 years ago) has been received. It claims that the tv licence inspector is going to court to seek a ‘search warrant’ for house.

can the search warrant - if granted - apply to the new current tenants ?

does the tv licence system not have access to my name as landlord etc ?
 

Leo

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the letter name of a previous tenant
They opened someone else's post, or was it addressed to 'the resident'?

The search warrant could just apply to the property, and not be restricted to the name of a former resident, TV licenses are tied to the premises, not the person.

Your tenants are there 2 months, there is no defence to justify not having purchased a TV license in that time. Assuming they have a device capable of receiving broadcast TV, tell them to purchase a licence in their own name immediately and this will very likely just go away.
 

cmalone

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Well they actually are entitled to free licence under the household benefits / social welfare as far as I can understand.

So a ‘search warrant’ will apply to property only and name on warrant is not relevant ? Should I try to contact the previous tenant - has he to provide information? Defence ?
 

cremeegg

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Well they actually are entitled to free licence under the household benefits / social welfare as far as I can understand.
Should I try to contact the previous tenant - has he to provide information? Defence ?
In the real world you should tell your tenants to buy a TV license. Indeed if you suspect that they won't you should buy one for the property yourself.

Then on AAM, you can worry about the impropriety of opening the previous tenant post, the powers of a search warrant issued in the wrong name, how the previous tenant will mount a defence, social welfare entitlements etc etc to your hearts content.
 

Leo

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Search warrants apply to a premises, telling them Mr. X isn't there any more doesn't invalidate it. Get the tenants to apply for the license, on the off chance they do come around to search having evidence of that will at least show they are looking to become compliant.

The previous tenant doesn't reside there any longer, so is no longer responsible for ensuring it has a valid TV license in place.
 

eirman

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If the current tenants have a TV they should buy a license immediately.

They will automatically recieve a refund for the relevant period under the household benefit package.
(I know this from experience).

Also having a license number makes household benefit application easier as they do ask for your present license number.
 
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Daddy Ireland

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Leo post 2 says 'assuming they have a device capable of receiving broadcast TV' they should buy a license. Surely if that device exists and tenants have no TV in house there is then no requirement to purchase a license ?
 

Leo

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Surely if that device exists and tenants have no TV in house there is then no requirement to purchase a license ?
Not sure what you mean by 'if that device exists'? It's just a matter of whether the residents have one or not, if they do, they require a license.
 

JG0009

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Not legal advice but I would assume the TV licence inspector has to be accompanied by the gardai and I cannot realistically see them following this up.
 

Sunny

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A search warrant for a tv licence? Does anyone fall for this crap? The guards can barely get one for drugs and we are supposed to believe there is judge out there telling an post of course you can enter a private residence to see if they have a tv.

Tell them to get a tv licence but that threat is just ridiculous.
 

Leo

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A search warrant for a tv licence? Does anyone fall for this crap? The guards can barely get one for drugs and we are supposed to believe there is judge out there telling an post of course you can enter a private residence to see if they have a tv.
I've no idea if or how often it happens, but TV Licence inspectors are authorised parties under the legislation to execute search warrants without the presence of a Garda. Others include safety inspectors and social welfare officers.
 

Sunny

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I know they are allowed to get one but I would love to know the stats of how many are given out. They would also need reasonable cause I presume. So it wouldn't be enough to say 'I think that person has a tv'. They would probably need to physically see the device. Would love to know if it was ever done. Mad if they got a search warrant for a TV licence and ended up walking into a huge cannabis farm!!
 

EmmDee

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I've no idea if or how often it happens, but TV Licence inspectors are authorised parties under the legislation to execute search warrants without the presence of a Garda. Others include safety inspectors and social welfare officers.
Maybe it's urban legend but I thought they, along with excise (as they used be called... I'm sure it's different now) had right to entry without a warrant

Am I showing my age?
 

Sunny

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Pretty sure that is urban legend even for excise! Unless there was a life in danger, cant imagine anything they found would be admissible if they just entered a private home without a warrant.
 

Leo

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Maybe it's urban legend but I thought they, along with excise (as they used be called... I'm sure it's different now) had right to entry without a warrant
There was a lot of urban legend around the capabilities of the 'detector vans' they used, even to the point of some people believing they could determine what channel you were watching. The only way those vans could have detected that is if someone sitting inside it looked out through the window and in someones living room window to see what they were watching.

The legislation is clear that the inspector requires a search warrant from the District Court where a householder is not cooperative, and to do so must provide 'reasonable ground for believing that' an unlicensed set is present.

There was a case thrown out of court a while back where an inspector saw a set inside a house. The householder successfully argued that it was an old analogue set, without a subscription to any TV service, and so was not capable of receiving broadcast services. The inspector was unable to prove the set was digital capable. That goes against the advice of An Post, but is a more in line with the wording of the legislation.
 
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