House to house collection licences can be valid for up to 1 year. You must apply for a licence if you want to collect money or goods (that you plan to sell at a later date) from people’s homes for charity.
Do I need a licence?
You must apply for a house to house collections licence if you're a:
- Small charity.
- Local group, for example scouts, girl guides.
Some of the larger well-known charities for example, Christian Aid, Help the Aged, have a Charity Commission exemption from having to apply for a permit, but most of the smaller and particularly local groups and organisations need a permit before they can collect money or items.
You must be a fit and proper person and let us know details of items and households collected from.
How to apply
You don't have to pay for a house to house collection permit. To apply for a house to house collections licence complete the application form and return it to us.
- Apply 20 working days before you plan to start collecting.
- Include the names of any people who will be collecting on behalf of the charity or organisation; these are known as the 'authorised collectors'.
- Include your own name if you're planning to be an authorised collector.
Once you've filled out the form you can either:
- Email the completed form to
- Post it to Rochdale Borough Council Licensing, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU.
- Bring it in to the Licensing Unit (see contact section for address and opening hours).
Please contact Rochdale Borough Council in the first instance (see contact section for how to get in touch).
You have a right to appeal to the Minister for the Cabinet Office within 14 days of the decision.
Fines and penalties
If you don't get a licence before starting house to house collections you could face:
- Up to 6 months in prison.
- A fine of up to £1,000.
If you or anyone collecting on your behalf doesn't give a police officer their name, address and signature when asked to, they could be fined up to £200.