House to house collections

You need to apply for a permit to collect money for charity from people's houses, which will last for up to one year.

A permit is required to undertake a 'house to house' collection, under the House to House Collections Act 1939.

Street collection permits are normally issued to cover a period of 1 or 2 days, a house-to-house collection permit can be granted for any period up to one year. 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 make a return following collection.

Collections generally take place from door to door.

Some of the larger well-known charities like Christian Aid and Help the Aged, have a Charity Commission exemption from having to apply for a permit, but by and large most of the smaller, 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.

Licence application forms and notes

Application for a house to house collections licence [PDF 122kb]

Certificate for the information of HM stationery office [PDF 41kb]

Form of account of expenses, proceeds and application of proceeds of house to house collections [PDF 25kb]

Guidance notes for house to house collections [PDF 27kb]


  • House to House Collections Act 1939
  • House to House Collections Regulations 1947

Return your application form to:

Health & Safety and Licensing
2nd Floor Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square

Contact us

phone: 01273 294 429