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House to House Collections

House to House collections generally take place from door to door or from one public house to another.

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The Charity Commission exempts some of the larger well-known charities such as Christian Aid, and Help the Aged etc, from the requirement to apply for a permit. However, most of the smaller charities, and 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.

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, and each case would be assessed on its own merits.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications must be in the form prescribed by the local authority.

You must be a fit and proper person.

Regulation Summary

House to House Collections Act 1939 (Opens in a new window)

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

Businesses should be aware that the timescales for processing an application do not start until all the necessary information has been received in full.

Because the timescales for processing a licence start once the necessary information has been submitted, rather than received, where tacit consent is applicable to a scheme, it will only apply for applications that are submitted electronically via the Point of Single Contact (PSC) or when the business can show proof of delivery from a post office or recognised courier.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact the Licensing Team in the first instance.

You have the right to appeal to the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Appeals must be lodged within 14 days of the refusal.

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