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Anyone who wishes to undertake a 'house to house' collection for a charitable purpose needs to apply for a House to House collection permit.
A permit is required to undertake a 'house to house' collection, under the House to House Collections Act 1939. Whereas Charitable 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 charitable street collection permits. Collections generally take place from door to door or from one premises to another.
As with charitable street collection permits there is a requirement for the promoter of the collection to make a return following the collection.
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.
The Birmingham City Council House to House Collection Application Form is attached at the bottom of this page.
Once you have completed the application form it can be submitted to the Licensing Section by a variety of means:
Online - If you are applying from within a European Member State you can apply on the Government GOV.UK website using the following links
Apply online for a House to House Collection Permit
Supply a return online for a House to House Collection
By Email - Completed applications can be submitted electronically by attaching the completed form and any associated supporting documents to the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
(Please note that electronic applications submitted by email can only be accepted if there is a scanned signature on the application form).
By Post - Send completed applications to the address as indicated on our contact us page.
In Person - Applications can be submitted in person at the address and during the times shown on our contact us page.
There is no charge for a charitable street collection permit.
When you are filling in your form, please remember that we need at least 28 days to deal with your application. We may not be able to issue permits without the full 28 days and all applications should be determined within 60 days of receipt of all the information necessary to determine the application.
Tacit Consent - Grounds for Refusal
Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with applications within the target period then the application can be deemed to have been granted/approved.
Please note that tacit consent does NOT apply in respect of House to House collection permits as it is in the public interest that the local authority considers and processes all applications.
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 an unreasonable 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.
Our FAQs page provides more information on house to house collection permits.
Regulations:- House to House Collections Act 1939
We retain details of House to House Collection Permits which have been granted, for further information contact the General Licensing Team - see contact us page.
Contact the General Licensing Team - see contact us page.
Dependent on the nature of the complaint but initially contact the charity organising the collection and/or the Licensing Enforcement Team - see contact us page.
Following House to House Collections a return must be submitted to the Licensing Section on the prescribed form. This form is sent out with and at the time the permit is issued by us.