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Moorings Business: Do I Need a Licence to Live There Permanently?

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 11 Jan 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Moorings Business: Do I Need A Licence To Live There Permanently?

Q.

We own a small moorings business which has been established for at least 20 years. We also have our own boat on there which we are thinking of living on permanently. Do we need extra permission to do this from the relevant water authority or council as it is already a recognised moorings and we pay council tax.

(D.H, 12 May 2009)

A.

If you are already in possession of a long-term private licence for your vessel – and if your “own boat” is already in official service then I would guess that you are – then you don’t require any further permission to use your boat as your permanent residence.

Standard Boat Licence

If you use a boat on the rivers and canals of England and Wales that are under the jurisdiction of British Waterways then regardless of whether you use it for intermittent trips or as a permanent residence, you require the same ‘Standard Boat Licence’.

You would only require a different licence if you were planning on living in a static houseboat that is not used for navigation. This is known as a ‘Houseboat Certificate’. Costing the same as a mobile canal and river licence, this is required in preference to the Standard Licence.

If your mooring is in an area overseen by the Environment Agency or the Broads Authority then you would need their own equivalent private licence.

Headaches for New Liveaboards

When most people first consider the idea of living on a boat they are typically faced with two major headaches.

Firstly, securing a decent permanent residential mooring can be an arduous task, as spots are at a premium, particularly in the south-east of England. The costs that they often demand can also add a significant expense dent to any naive plans of a cheap new waterborne existence.

Secondly, further expense is required in order to pay for an annual licence to utilise the waterways of Britain. However, not only that but in order to even qualify for licence, you must first ensure that the vessel meets the necessary safety standards, by securing a Boat Safety Certificate - the equivalent of a MOT for a motor vehicle.

By law the vessel must also must be protected with third-party insurance.

Free to Take Up Residence

However, in owning both a recognised mooring and a boat that is already in active service, these key issues for those considering a new life on the water are no concern of yours.

The only other concern you would have when adopting a boat as your main residence would be that you would then be liable for council tax (payable at Band A, the lowest band), but as you are already paying this that is no worry for you either.

As matters stand at the moment you can move into your new home without any worry about having to ask anyone's permission.

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Hi, been meaning to post for a while now, we seem to be in a unique situation and having scoured the internet with no real decisive answer I am hoping the vast knowledge here my be of service. My partner and I currently live on a 29 foot yacht with our 2 boys. We are fortunate enough to have been able to buy a small Quay (25feet wide) with a slipway with road access for parking but more importantly the 700 feet of the seabed in front of it is also ours with 2 moorings, in a tidal creek. Sooo, we have finally managed to buy an 86 feet barge to convert, when time and money allows. The local council claimed I would need planning just to site the boat there even if I anchored it.Initially I just wanted to sink 4 larger moorings to hold her steady and safe. So I applied to the MMO (marine management organisation) as it’s tidal it is down to them whether I can lay new moorings and not the council. The problem is that like any planning application it must go public and there was public up roar and a 103 objections. Needless to say the MMO declined to let me lay moorings to support the barge. However the MMO tell me I can anchor it without any licence/permission from them. So I think the council are trying it on saying I need PP to put me off putting it there. What does everyone think about this? And what thoughts does anyone have of the legalities of living there at anchor? Thank you in advance.. Dean
Dean - 11-Jan-19 @ 4:01 PM
Hi, been meaning to post for a while now, we seem to be in a unique situation and having scoured the internet with no real decisive answer I am hoping the vast knowledge here my be of service. My partner and I currently live on a 29 foot yacht with our 2 boys. We are fortunate enough to have been able to buy a small Quay (25feet wide) with a slipway with road access for parking but more importantly the 700 feet of the seabed in front of it is also ours with 2 moorings, in a tidal creek. Sooo, we have finally managed to buy an 86 feet barge to convert, when time and money allows. The local council claimed I would need planning just to site the boat there even if I anchored it.Initially I just wanted to sink 4 larger moorings to hold her steady and safe. So I applied to the MMO (marine management organisation) as it’s tidal it is down to them whether I can lay new moorings and not the council. The problem is that like any planning application it must go public and there was public up roar and a 103 objections. Needless to say the MMO declined to let me lay moorings to support the barge. However the MMO tell me I can anchor it without any licence/permission from them. So I think the council are trying it on saying I need PP to put me off putting it there. What does everyone think about this? And what thoughts does anyone have of the legalities of living there at anchor? Thank you in advance.. Dean
Dean - 11-Jan-19 @ 10:18 AM
hi ,I own a big lake for the last 22 years can I put houseboat on it and live therealso we use it for fishing in Essex
bandit - 3-Oct-15 @ 7:40 AM
Any information about the legal aspect of living on a boat on a land locked small lake the lake is privately owned on private land, it is a disused Quarry that is now full of water I am aware of the rules etc re canals/ rivers but not Lakes Thanks
Peter01827 - 25-Nov-13 @ 7:26 PM
I have 14 available moorings at a property I have just taken over in Bedfordshire, where can I advertise them to rent?
jules - 1-Jun-12 @ 9:05 PM
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