House to House Collection Permits

Information about licensing of house to house collection licences

If you intend to carry out a 'house to house' collection, you will need to apply for a licence. (58.5 KB) PDF This comes under the House to House Collections Act 1939.

What is the difference between street collections and house to house collections?

Collections generally take place from door to door or from one public house to another. While street collection permits are normally issued to cover a period of one or two days, a house to house collection permit can be granted for any period up to one month. With regard to vetting and checking to ascertain whether the organisation applying is genuine or not, the same procedures apply as for street collections.

As with street collection permits there is a requirement for the promoter of the collection to complete a form of return (52.7 KB) PDF and send to the Licensing Team.


Some of the larger well-known charities such as Christian Aid, Help the Aged etc, have a Home Office exemption from having to apply for a permit but in general, and most particularly local groups and organisations need a permit before they can collect money (or articles which they intend to sell later), from door to door. Only charities which have a Home Office exemptions can carry out envelope collections, all others need to collect in sealed containers.

Right of appeal

Unlike street collections, there is a statutory right of appeal against the refusal to grant a house to house collection permit. In this case, the right of appeal is to the Secretary of State, and the grounds for refusal are set out in the act itself.

One of the key grounds for refusal would be where the total amount likely to be applied for charitable purpose as a result of the collection, is inadequate in proportion to the value of the proceeds likely to be received. So, for instance, where an applicant intends to claim a fair proportion of the proceeds of the collection for expenses, a permit could be refused. There is no statutory guidance to local authorities on what would be a reasonable amount for expenses.

Last reviewed: 11 - 01 - 2017

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