Saturday 15th August 2020
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You will need a permit to undertake a house to house collection

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Apply for a licence for house-to-house collection

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 collection 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 or from one public house to another.

Some of the larger well-known charities have a charity commission exemption from having to apply for a permit, but by and large most of the smaller ones, 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.

Please be specific as to where you are proposing to carry out your collections as this can avoid any confusion and delays with your application.
At least one months notice should be given prior to the proposed collection date(s) in order for the service to accept the application. 

Application(s) must be accompanied by the following documents, if you are collecting on behalf of a charity / organisation.

  1. Letter of authority (from the organisation which is benefitting from the collection).
  2. Contract between the organiser and benefiting charity for proposed collection.

Failure to provide satisfactory evidence to support your application may result in your application being refused.

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.

A copy of the House to House Collections Act 1939 can be viewed at the council offices where you can also obtain an application form and a copy of our standard conditions.


 Contact information

Licensing Service
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall
George Street

Tel: 01582 546040

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