Handing out leaflets

Getting permission

Check if you need permission to leaflet

If you want to give out flyers, leaflets or anything similar in Watford, you might need the council's consent.

If you give out any material without consent, you risk getting a fixed penalty notice of £100 or, if prosecuted, a fine of £1,000.

You do not need consent if the material is:

  • for (or on behalf of) a charity
  • for political or religious purposes
  • given out on private land
  • posted through letter boxes

Apply online with the relevant fee and a sample of the material you want to hand out.

We will only grant consent for up to six distributors. Consents will be granted subject to our standard conditions (PDF 144kB).

We could refuse/revoke permission if:

  • we think that your activity will result in more litter
  • you have been convicted of distributing unlawfully
  • you have previously breached the conditions of a leaflet consent

We aim to issue consents within 10 working days. If you don't hear from us after 10 working days, then you can take it that you have permission to hand out leaflets.


The cost depends on:

  • how many people you want to distribute leaflets
  • the time of day you hand them out

One distributor: £65.68
Each additional distributor: £39.75 each (up to six)

If you are requesting distribution at any time between 5pm and 9am, then there is an additional fee of £25.92 per person (so one distributor would be £91.60, and each additional distributor would be £65.67 each).


You must ensure that your leaflet consent is renewed before your consent expires in order to continue distributing leaflets. If your consent expires, you must stop handing out leaflets until your consent is renewed.

It is recommended that you apply 1 month before your consent expires, to allow good time to process your renewal and resolve any potential issues.

How to appeal

You may appeal to the magistrates' court if we refuse to grant consent, impose any limitation or condition on the consent, or revoke consent.

Feedback button