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House to house collections

This page provides information about house to house collections, including information on how to apply for a house to house collection licence.

House to house collections for charitable purposes

House to house collections, as set out under Section 2 of the House to House Collections Act 1939 and the House to House Collections Regulations 1947, are required to be licensed and regulated by local authorities.

Unless those who wish to conduct a collection hold an 'Exemption Certificate', it is an offence for any one to promote or make collections from door to door or from one public house to another for charitable purposes, without the promoter obtaining a licence to do so from the local authority in whose area that the collection is to take place.

Some larger well-known charities such as Christian Aid, Help the Aged and others, have a charity commission exemption from having to apply for a licence. However, most of the smaller and particularly local groups and organisations, will need an authorisation before they can collect money door to door.

More information about charitable organisations is available at the Charity Commission web site.

Collections proposed to take place within the borough of Oadby and Wigston

Applications may be made for a licence for house to house collections to take place within the borough of Oadby and Wigston, to the Council’s licensing section. Application should be made at least one month before the first proposed collection date, where upon giving a satisfactory application, a house to house collection licence may be granted.

The aim of licensing such collections

The aim of licensing such collections is to regulate those who may wish promote an appeal for a collection and go from door to door, in order to:

  • collect money, usually using sealed collection tins or envelopes, for a charitable purpose,
  • collect items, such as donated clothing and bric-a-brac, for a charitable purpose or
  • sell goods for a charitable purpose.

This type of regulated collection should not be confused with a Pedlar's Licence which is issued by the Police under ancient legislation and is valid throughout England and Wales. Nor should this type of collection be confused with charitable street collections that are permitted and regulated by local authorities.

Definitions relating to house to house collections

Charitable Purpose - any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purpose.

Collection - an appeal to the public made by means of visits from house to house, to give, whether for consideration or not, money or other property.

Collector - a person who makes the appeal in the course of such visits.

House - includes a place of business.

Proceeds in relation to a collection - all money and all other property given, whether for consideration or not, in response to the appeal.

Promoter - a person who causes others to act as collectors for the purposes of the collection.

Application form

If you wish to undertake a charitable house to house collection (which is different to a charitable street collection) you will need to complete the PDF Document House to House Collection Application Form (PDF Document, 30.94 Kb)

Fee

There is currently no fee applicable for this type of licence.

Regulations for house to house collections

PDF Document House to House Collection Regulations (PDF Document, 83.09 Kb)

Once you are ready to proceed, please post your application to the licensing section at the address in the contact panel on the left. You can also visit the council offices in person and submit your application to a member of our customer services team. No appointment is necessary, during normal council working hours, to make a preliminary check of your application and documents or to request help with completing the application forms.

Summary of requirements to collect house to house

Within three months of the collection, a return form showing details of the monies collected must be completed and returned to the licensing authority.

Organizing collection

When organizing your collection you need to ensure that:-

  • every collector wears an identity badge and carries a certificate of authority,
  • collectors produce their badge on demand to the occupant of any house or any Police Officer or officer of the Council,
  • if collection boxes are used, they are sealed and consecutively numbered,
  • if money or goods are collected by another means, a receipt is issued to the donator and the donation entered in a receipt book,
  • collectors do not cause annoyance or nuisance to occupants and
  • collectors are not under 16 years of age.

After a collection

After the collection you need to ensure that:-

  • collecting tins are opened in the presence of a promoter and a witness or if unopened, delivered to a bank to be opened and counted by an official,
  • when collection tins are opened, the contents of each tin are entered on a list and certified by those present,
  • a return is made to the Council showing the total amount of monies collected, amounts from each tin and a list of collectors,
  • all certificates of authority and badges are destroyed at the end of the collection period and
  • no promoter or anyone associated with the collection can receive payment from the collection unless approved by the Council.

Monitoring of collections

The Council will make any enquiries it sees fit to confirm the integrity of an organisation's collecting activities.

New organisations

If your organisation has never before applied to the Council for a charity collection licence please supply the following information with your application:-

  • whether it is a registered charity (please state registration number) and the objectives of the charitable cause as supplied to the Charity Commission,
  • a statement of the organisation's aims as detailed in any literature,
  • details of the history of the organisation, for example, when formed; names of trustees, directors, organisers and any other relevant details and
  • accounts along with any relevant financial statements.

Collecting on behalf of a society

If you or your organisation is collecting on behalf of another charity, please provide written proof of agreement from the charity to benefit.

Reasons for refusal

The Council can refuse or revoke licences for various reasons, these include:-

  • to limit the number of collections,
  • if too high a proportion of the proceeds is likely to be spent on expenses,
  • if incorrect information was provided on the licence application or
  • if the promoter or any other person involved has been convicted of certain criminal offences such as burglary, blackmail or fraud.

If you have information to pass on the the Council or you require more information about this subject please contact us.

Online application

Licence summary

To carry out house-to-house collections for charitable purposes in England and Wales you need a licence from the local authority.

Eligibility criteria

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

You must be a fit and proper person.

Regulation summary

PDF Document House to House Collection Regulations (PDF Document, 83.09 Kb)

Application evaluation process

No provision in the legislation.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with your applications within the target period identified then your application will have been deemed to have been registered. Please note that the processing target period (30 days) only begins on receipt of a fully completed application form.

Apply online

Apply to run a charitable collection

Notify us of the result of a charitable collection

Failed application redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

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

Appeals must be logged within 14 days of the refusal.

Licence holder redress

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

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

Appeals must be logged within 14 days of the decision.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you, preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the United Kingdom (UK), Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the European Consumer Centre.

Other redress

For example, about noise, pollution and so on. Also should one licence holder complain about another.

Trade associations

None.

Frequently Asked Questions (3)

What is a charitable purpose?

any charitable, benevolent, or philanthropic purpose.

What is a house to house collection?

an appeal to the public made by means of visits from house to house, to give, whether for consideration or not, money or other property

What is the definition of proceeds?

All money and all other property given, whether for consideration or not, in response to the appeal.

Last updated: Thursday, 30 May 2013 4:39 pm

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