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Licence - House to House Collections

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

We want to encourage and support people who wish to collect for charity, we also need to protect the community from bogus collectors taking advantage of peoples' generosity.

It is therefore important that before you start collecting money for charity you should check with us to see if you need a permit. Please call the Basildon Council's licensing staff on 01268 206925 for further information.

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 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.

A copy of the House to House Collections Act 1939 can be viewed at the Council Offices.

Applying for a House to House Collection Permit

You can apply for a House to House Collection Permit or Supply a Return online, through the Business Link website, by selecting one of the links below:

Alternatively, you can print a form from these links and return it to us at the address above.

Please ensure that you have read the regulations before submitting your application.

Online applications will be acknowledged by email. Provided your application is correctly made, we will aim to process it within 20 working days. If this is not possible, we will inform you and provide an explanation as to the reason.

If your application is refused you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State. All appeals must be made within 14 days from the date of the decision.

Tacit consent does not apply to this application because it is considered to be in the public interest for the local authority to process your application before it is granted. If you have not received a response by the end of the target completion period please contact us at the address above.

Direct Debit Collections

Direct debit collections in the street are NOT normally controlled by charity collection requirements, and as such are not regulated or authorised by the Council. Many collections of this kind are run by private companies on behalf of charities - who may see very little of the amounts raised - and occasionally collectors may pressurise shoppers or individuals to disclose personal information. Giving bank details or other personal information to strangers in the street is not recommended, and standing orders should be signed in a reputable business premises or at home where people can make reasoned decisions in a non-threatening environment. Also persons wishing to donate by this method may wish to contact the relevant charity direct in order to set up a regular donation.

If you are in any doubt, save your donation for a licensed charity collection (which can be verified by the Licensing Team), local charity shop or by contacting the relevant charity direct. Legitimate clothing collectors, such as Great Ormond Street Hospital or PDSA, will very often leave their own identified collection sacks.

Exempt Charities

There may be occasions when a charity does not require a permit issued by Basildon Borough Council. Exemption Orders are made under Section 3 of the House to House Collection Act 1939. If an organisation is 'exempt' from obtaining a permit it will be on the list that is available from the Cabinet Office. Exempt organisations should still notify the Council of when and where they are collecting but they do not require a House to House permit as they can collect at any time throughout the year by virtue of their exemption status.

Further information and enquiries

For further information, complaints and enquiries please contact us, see contact details below...