If you wish to make a house to house collection for charitable purposes you need to obtain a permit under the House to House Collections Act 1939 (legislation.gov webpage).

Telephone no: 023 9268 8367 – email: licensing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Licences may be granted for a period not exceeding twelve months, subject to special latitude in cases where the licensing authority wish to provide for the simultaneous expiration of licences in respect of annual collections or collections made continuously over a long period.

Licences may be granted in respect of the whole, or part only, of an area, but, where a collection extends to more than one licensing area, a separate licence must be obtained from each authority.

Within a month after the collection you will be required to forward a statement of all moneys received and all articles collected and disposed of as detailed in the Returns Form. Accounts to the Secretary of State must be sent annually.

Eligibility criteria

The collections must be for a charitable purpose.

The application must be made no later than one month preceding the proposed collection.

A licensing authority may refuse to grant a licence, or, may revoke a licence already granted, for the following reasons:

  • that it does not appear that an adequate proportion of the proceeds of the collection will be actually applied for charitable purposes
  • that excessive remuneration is likely to be retained by any person out of the proceeds of the collection
  • that an offence under the Vagrancy Act 1824 has been committed or might be facilitated in connection with the collection
  • that the applicant is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence by reason of a conviction under certain specified heads or for fraudulent or dishonest action
  • that the promoter has failed to exercise due diligence in the appointment of fit and proper collectors or otherwise in the administration of the collection.

Regulation summary

The power to regulate house to house collections and issue licences is contained in the House to House Collections Act 1939 (OPSI.gov webpage)and the House to House Collections Regulations 1947.

Application evaluation process

You will need to complete a House to House Collection Application Form.
Your application will be subject to a completed application form and meeting the eligibility criteria detailed above.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period of a maximum of 42 days.


You may apply by downloading the attached form and sending together with the supporting documentation by email to licensing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or post to:

Portsmouth City Council
Licensing Office
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square

Apply online

Failed application redress

Please contact the Local Authority in the first instance:

Tel: 023 9268 8367 – email licensing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

If your application is refused, you may appeal against the decision to the Secretary of State within 14 days of the notice.

Licence holder redress

Please contact the Local Authority:

Tel: 023 9268 8367 – email: licensing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

If your licence is revoked, you may appeal against the decision to the Secretary of State within 14 days of the notice.

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 UK,  Adviceguide (external link) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (external link).

Please contact the Local Authority:

Tel: 023 9268 8367 – email: licensing@portsmouthcc.gov.uk