House to House Collections
House to House Collections Act 1939
A permit is required to undertake a 'house to house' collection, under the House to House Collections Act 1939.
Whereas 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 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 Collections Permits there is a requirement for the promoter of the collection to make a return following the collection.
Collections generally take place from door to door.
Some of the larger well-known charities such as Christian Aid, Help the Aged etc, 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. 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.
Under normal circumstances, the Authority will complete the administration of any application and reach a decision within 20 working days of the complete application being received. If no decision is notified to the applicant in that timescale, the application is deemed as granted.
Application forms and guidelines