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Withdrawing implied right of access and your personal details

Many people who have withdrawn the implied right of access from TVL/BBC have been told that TVL/BBC will not acknowledge their instruction until it has been provided with their personal details. Here is one such TVL/BBC response:

Similar wording from another TVL/BBC letter:

"I understand your reasons for not giving your name. However, we can't accept an anonymous withdrawal of the implied right of access to a property, as we can't be sure a person has the right to make such a withdrawal. If you will kindly advise your name, we will of course adhere to your instructions regarding the right of access to your property, although we may use other methods of enquiry to confirm the situation."

These responses are tantamount to a declaration of war on the private citizenry - but do not be provoked; let us examine the BBC's statements matter-of-factly.

Note the addressee of the above letter: The Present Occupier. This contrasts with the BBC's usual term of address which is Legal Occupier. What the BBC is doing is referring to people as Legal Occupier when it wants to threaten them, since this term infers some sort of legal culpability. But when the BBC wants to prevent occupants from exercising their legal rights, it changes its description to Present Occupier, which suggests that the resident is transient and therefore without legal entitlements. In reality, neither prefix has any significance; an occupier is an occupier.

As for TVL/BBC's need of personal details, it writes to householders whose names it does not know seeking entry to their premises. It does not say to anonymous householders: "We can't accept an anonymous granting of access to a property, as we can't be sure you have the right to make such an invitation". Therefore, we can reason that TVL/BBC's claim that "we can't accept an anonymous withdrawal of the implied right of access to a property" is false.

A member of the public who wrote back to the BBC, restating that the implied right of access had been withdrawn, received this reply:

TVL/BBC refers to its "common law" right to approach a property. This is correct, but only in so far as all people have a right to approach a front door. The issue here is whether the resident can withdraw that implied right, and what the BBC fails to explain is that, subject to a warrant issued by a court, the resident's right to permit or prevent access is absolute; whether it is implied or express is immaterial.

But do not take this website's word for it. In 2009, a question was put to the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act to confirm or deny whether, ... a legal occupier ... is NOT required by law to submit their name to you ... to serve a notice of "Withdrawal of Implied Right of Access"

The BBC replied (read the letter in full here):

Only the first sentence is relevant; there is no legal requirement on an individual to provide their name. Period. Everything else in the extract is TVL/BBC's wish, and therefore of no consequence.

So long as a letter withdrawing access is seen to come from the address in question, and that it responds to a letter sent to that address by TVL/BBC, those facts combined prove that the writer is the resident. If TVL/BBC persists, write back:

"As stated previously, your implied right of access is withdrawn. Your letter will be placed before the court as evidence you have received my instruction withdrawing implied rights of access. You state that you will still attempt to access my property - this letter places you on notice that I regard any approach as harrassment".

Photocopy your letter before posting, and send it by recorded delivery.

“The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake, the wind may blow through it, the storm may enter, the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.”

William Pitt the Elder, 1708-1778

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